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11-28-2006, 07:53 AM
Trail of Dead Get High, Break Instruments, then Push Each Other Around

12-06-2006, 02:00 PM

the article is 5 years old but might be interesting to Radiohead fans. A classical music writer calls them "a new sort of classical music for the masses". He seems to mean it.

12-06-2006, 04:22 PM
I'm reading the article, and this jumped out at me:

"Yorke is the essential spark of the Radiohead phenomenon. Like all greatly gifted people, he is not always easy to be around. When a stranger approaches him, wanting unscheduled attention, he can be unsettlingly mute"

Yeah, I tried to get autographs from the band back in 1995. I got Jonny Greenwood's, but Thom was hiding behind a pole and sneaking looks out. He managed to avoid me. At least I THINK it was Thom. Who else would be hiding behind a pole?

12-06-2006, 06:04 PM
He's skinny enough, that's for sure.

01-18-2007, 08:22 PM
RIAA Goes After Mixtapes (http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/statusainthood/archives/2007/01/dj_drama_and_do.php)

01-19-2007, 12:40 PM
Motor City Madman (http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/18/texas.nugent.ap/index.html)

01-20-2007, 10:39 AM
The Arcade Fire play in a High School Cafeteria (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=0738b3fe-9abc-4acb-9874-e0d6868faeb0&k=64820)

01-20-2007, 11:55 AM
This should go in the video section, but it is related to the Arcade Fire article above.


01-20-2007, 12:14 PM
Looks like somebody broke the no cameras rule.

That's my favorite version of Intervention yet.

Win is tall. He walked by me in the crowd at Lollapalooza after he jumped into the crowd and the set was over and he was heading back to the backstage area, shaking everyone's hands like he was a politician running for ***sident. At least 6'5"

01-23-2007, 10:34 AM
Shark Bait (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070123/sc_nm/australia_shark_dc)

01-24-2007, 11:07 AM

Are the re-formed Smashing Pumpkins set to rock Lollapalooza? Will the long-dormant Police return at Bonnaroo? How about a reunited Nirvana taking the stage at South by Southwest, only with Ben Kweller playing guitar and singing Kurt's vocals?

All three sound too good to be true, little more than the pipe dreams of manic music buffs with way too much free time. But incredibly, they're all "100 percent confirmed" by sources with intimate knowledge about such things.

But don't go crazy just yet. It's entirely possible that absolutely none of the above information is true. After all, we're smack-dab in the middle of speculation season — a magical time of year when blogs and 'boards spring to life with posts about rumored festival lineups, each more obscure and seemingly detached from reality as the last.

It's a time when "truth" is a relative term, one in which any dream list of reunited acts and up-and-coming buzz bands can be bolstered by shadowy "insider sources," hung on wobbly nails of deductive reasoning — "Hey, the Pumpkins are working on a new album, and they're from Chicago, so naturally, they must be headlining Lolla this year!"

Topping the slate of speculation this year are the aforementioned Police — who have performed in public together exactly once since they quietly disbanded in 1986 — and (depending on whom you ask) are a lock to appear at either Bonnaroo or Coachella. It's a rumor that has been picking up steam thanks to bloggers and message-boarders who cite an "insider" source at The Manchester Times — the newspaper in the tiny Tennessee town Bonnaroo takes over each June — and the fact that Coachella organizers chose the word "Roxanne" (the name of a Police song) as a presale password.

Whether those rumors pan out remains to be seen. After all, that's part of the fun of speculation season. The fact that a re-formed Rage Against the Machine are actually headlining Coachella (see "Rage Against The Machine To Reunite For Coachella Festival") only adds credence to the rumors. More often than not, the countless postings promising Smiths reunions carry about as much weight as a pile of daffodils.

And all of this begs a couple of questions: What drives these faceless music mavens to continually post these rumors in the face of cold, hard facts? And what do the festival organizers themselves think of all the rampant rumor-mongering? To find the answers, we delved deep into the void, speaking with bloggers and festival organizers, who — not surprisingly — tend to see the issue a bit differently.

On one hand, denizens of the 'Net view speculation season as a time to truly flex their inner-geek muscles and, as full-time pharmaceutical designer/ part-time blogger Cary Whitt puts it, "to play concert promoter without having to gamble any of your own money."

"I'm the typical music nerd ... so for me, every year as Coachella gets closer, you can feel the buzz forming. And trying to predict which bands the festival is going to try to surprise you with is part of the fun," Whitt said. "So I'll look at artist's pages, check Pollstar, listen to what people on Coachella message boards are saying, and then make a list of artists that I think are going to appear. And, of course, being first is important. ... You want to be the cool kid who's telling everyone else who's going to be appearing."

"I think as music fans, we just get excited when we find out the possibilities, and so the sooner we can get excited the better. ... It's also exciting to figure things out and talk about the possibilities," blogger (and fan of secret identities) the Brooklyn Vegan said. "So essentially, [my blog] does the grunt work for other music fans. It's more practical to know sooner when trying to figure out if you really want to travel to a festival. For instance, a band like the Jesus and Mary Chain reuniting is enough for some people to buy their plane tickets months and months in advance."

And while ego or altruism are enough to drive some bloggers to scour bands' MySpace pages for hours on end, there are still others who see their work as, well, something more: a certifiably punk-rock way of sticking it to the man.

Earlier this month, the Austin Chronicle reported that South by Southwest organizers were delaying the release of the festival's "confirmed band list" in order to make the planning of the many gigs that take place during SXSW but are not sanctioned by the festival near impossible. Responding to the report, writers for local site Austinist.com decided to take matters in their own hands by compiling a massive list of "confirmed" acts without the blessing of SXSW.

"We read the article, and we thought, 'Now, come on. That's just silly.' And we realized that lots of bands would just confirm that they were playing through their MySpace pages or their official Web sites, and so we figured that with a few phone calls and some digging that we could put together a pretty good list," Tom Thornton, a writer for the site, explained. "And though SXSW hasn't announced most of these bands, we feel pretty confident that they're all going to be here. Of course, there are some pretty ridiculous rumors out there; I heard there was going to be a Nirvana reunion, with Ben Kweller playing guitar, and there were some rumors that David Hasselhoff is going to be here. But, like I said, we're not about to include anything like that on our list."

It probably wouldn't matter if Thornton posted that the Beatles — with Yoko Ono on one guitar and George Harrison's son, Dhani, on the other — were set to appear at the festival, because his list would still be treated with the same sort of bemused disdain that it currently receives from SXSW organizers.

"The Internet makes this sort of information and disinformation rampant, a fact which is both annoying and humorous to me," SXSW creative director Brent Grulke told MTV News. "On one hand, it's very flattering that there's this level of interest in what we do, but on the other, I look at some of [the rumored lineups] and think, 'Where are these people getting these ideas? They have no basis in reality at all!'

"It all makes me wonder what sort of people have the time to speculate on something that — frankly — is trivial outside of the industry. At times I feel like people make those things up, just to see the reaction they would get. Because they're so absurd that it blows my mind," he continued. "Ultimately, it doesn't bother me ... but I wish that people wouldn't be so gullible. It's real simple: Everybody is trying to be first. And the sort of people who are already in awe of pop-stardom — as evidenced by them tracking this sort of thing — are the sort of people that would like that for themselves."

Grulke's attitude is not uncommon among festival organizers, many of whom seem to view the whole phenomenon of the rumored lineup as rather funny but find dealing with the subsequent phone calls from gullible reporters to be, well, decidedly less humorous.

"We pay attention to what's going on out there, but we've been through this a lot, so we're sort of used to it. It's sort of humorous, a little frustrating, but we understand that it's part of the world we live in and the way we do our business," said Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly Presents, which organizes Bonnaroo. "I mean, it's not like most of the stuff out there is accurate. Every year, there's always some e-mail that makes the rounds, and every year people believe it. You start to hope that people are smart enough to realize that unless the information is posted on our Web site, it's meaningless."

Meaningless or not, it doesn't look like the rumor mill will be slowing down any time soon — not with Superfly promising to release the lineup for Bonnaroo 2007 sometime over the next few weeks, and with SXSW and Lollapalooza still on the horizon. After all, there really is no off-season when it comes to speculation, for better or worse.

"Everybody pays attention to those fake lineups, even though they're usually wrong. And if there's a lot of chatter about a smaller band, we take note of them," laughed Charles Attal, the booker of Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits festival. "The bloggers, most of the time they're putting on there what they want and wish for, and they're never ridiculous, unless people don't realize that the artists they're saying are appearing are actually dead. And to be honest, some of them get it right some of the time. And, of course, some of them get it really wrong."

This report is provided by MTV News

01-25-2007, 12:10 AM
you're an upgrade

02-03-2007, 09:17 PM
From McSweeney's:

Considered but Discarded Names for the Indie
Band; Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin.


- - - -

Put Your Damn Shoe Back On, Nikita Khrushchev

Those Are Some Pretty Boss Eyebrows, Leonid Brezhnev

Not Everyone Remembers You, Yuri Andropov

Don’t You Die Too, Konstantin Chernenko

02-07-2007, 12:25 PM
WTF? (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070207/ts_nm/newyork_ipod_dc;_ylt=AgObuKVyUb8q6_i.epFahLoDW7oF) Are they also going to ban deaf people from crossing the street?

02-07-2007, 12:29 PM
steve jobs on DRM (http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/7002/jobs.html)

02-07-2007, 12:44 PM
Yeah, he doesn't see the irony. Wait, that's not irony... that's hubris and arrogance. I don't agree with the article's author as to the motivation of Jobs' open letter.

02-07-2007, 01:05 PM
i should have linked to the letter (http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/) instead

02-07-2007, 03:25 PM
Pazz & Jop 2006 (http://www.villagevoice.com/pazzandjop06/winners.php?type=album)

I know everyone has a year end best of list, but this one has always seemed the most legit & scientific to me.

02-08-2007, 11:19 PM
Vista's already got a nasty virus out there (http://www.365mag.com/index.php?pg=news&recnum=3732&Title=Microsoft+introduces+Tiesto-gadget+for+Vista+on+365MAG+International+Music+Mag azine)

full on idle
02-19-2007, 12:51 AM

02-19-2007, 09:10 AM
Scrotum controversy (http://www.krdotv.com/story.cfm?nav=news&storyID=2382)

02-19-2007, 12:10 PM
XM, Sirius to merge (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117190978981912915.html?mod=djemalert)

02-19-2007, 12:15 PM
I wonder how many stations will get the ax because of that, due to redundencies.

02-21-2007, 10:30 AM
Bush's Budget (http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/48278/)

02-21-2007, 10:56 AM
that's the 2nd most troubling thing I've read this week. the 1st being Britney shaving her head.

02-21-2007, 12:06 PM
Bush's budget was covered on at least part of the Diane Rehm show recently. I remember hearing about that plan that Bush wants to cut giving 1 bag of groceries to low-income seniors each week.

02-22-2007, 06:11 AM

02-22-2007, 09:00 AM
I was just going to post that sword porn article...so funny

02-22-2007, 12:40 PM
In the February issue of SOMA there's an article about LCD soundsystem, and one about Peter Bjorn and John, if anyone's interested. there's also a hilarious john waters interview.

02-26-2007, 03:23 PM
I was going to come up with some obvious pun for this, but I'll just let the article speak for itself. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070226/sc_afp/indonesiaenvironmentmud;_ylt=Ao9BFM46IeNUOFmYxnHNE EcDW7oF)

02-28-2007, 12:49 PM
Germany's World Cup Baby Boom

Last year's soccer World Cup in Germany brought the host nation more than a respectable third-place finish in the international tournament showcasing the best of the best in the beautiful game - it has also produced a mini baby boom.

As reported by Spiegel Online International and Reuters, an expected jump in birth rates nine months after the fact can be directly attributed to those heady and fun-filled days last summer. "The party mood which gripped much of the nation between June 9 and July 9 last year helped couples who had struggled for years to conceive as well as leading to productive new liaisons," Reuters reported on Wednesday.

"We are looking at a 10 to 15 percent jump in births in early March which goes back to the World Cup," Rolf Kliche, head of the Dr Koch clinic in the city of Kassel near Frankfurt, told Reuters. "Biological factors are related to people being relaxed and in a good mood which explains the phenomenon."

His clinic delivered its first "World Cup Baby" on Feb. 11. Pia Schmidt said her daughter Farina, born five weeks early, was conceived after Germany's 1:0 victory against Poland.

"I remember it perfectly. There was a great atmosphere, we had friends over and later the celebrations continued in the bedroom," Schmidt, 27, told Reuters from her hospital bed.

"We had wanted a child for some time and the midwife said the positive vibes during the World Cup released my hormones."

03-08-2007, 08:02 AM
Royalty-Rate Hike Alarms Web Broadcasters
Small Radio StationsFear
Increase Will Force Them
To Abandon the Internet
March 7, 2007; Page B1

Internet radio broadcasters face the alarming prospect of paying much higher royalties to song performers, a burden that could silence some online stations.

The Copyright Royalty Board, an obscure federal agency charged by Congress in late 2004 with setting sound-recording royalty rates for online radio stations, has carried out its mandate -- with the result that some broadcasters could be on the hook for millions of dollars more than they had planned.

The rates set by the board, effective retroactively to 2006, start at .08 cents per song, per listener. While that might not sound like much, it rises every year and adds up fast. And that's in addition to the sizeable royalties Internet radio companies pay to the songwriters and composers of the underlying works. "With these rates, there's no Pandora," asserts Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora.com, an online radio service with about six million registered users.

The schedule is likely to take up a big part of the agenda at a congressional hearing on the future of radio scheduled for today. RealNetworks Inc., a Web company, is among those testifying. While the hearings aren't expected to affect the new rates, the industry can appeal the decision at the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

But it's the small broadcasters that are hit especially hard. Until now, Congress has kept the stations' royalty costs artificially low to encourage a nascent industry. Previously, those smaller groups could pay 12% of revenue to a music group called SoundExchange, which collects royalties for digital spins of a song and doles them out to song performers and record labels. Because the smaller stations paid a percentage of revenue, they never faced a situation where their royalty bills exceeded their operating revenue, as many will now.

At the same time, music labels facing faltering revenue have been eager to make sure that everyone pays for their music. The board's new rates appear to be close to those sought by SoundExchange, an offshoot of the Recording Industry Association of America that now operates independently. But the Internet radio broadcasters say the rates hit one of the few bright spots in the moribund music business and thus end up shooting the labels in the foot. "People buy a lot more music because of what they hear online," says Mr. Westergren of Pandora.

"Internet radio is one of the best things happening to the record industry," agrees Kurt Hanson, owner of the online radio company, Accuradio. The entrepreneur calculated that under the old rules Accuradio's sound-recording royalty payments last year would be about $50,000. But under the new schedule, Mr. Hanson figures that his bill now amounts to about $600,000 -- more than all of last year's revenue from his radio Web site.

The rates also hit public radio stations like those affiliated with National Public Radio, which has been charging hard into online music. The public-radio stations were previously allowed to pay a flat fee under a separate negotiation with the music industry association. Now the stations will be subject to the new rates, after a small number of exempted hours of streamed music.

"NPR is consulting with the public-radio community to determine what steps must be taken to reverse this decision and its dire consequences on public service media," says spokeswoman Andi Sporkin.

Internet radio counts over 50 million listeners in the U.S., many of them tuned in to tiny, niche-oriented online broadcasters. That's well in excess of the 14 million or so subscribers satellite radio can claim. Satellite radio pays sound-recording royalties under a different schedule that was separately negotiated with the music industry; it too is up for renegotiation.

The schedule highlights an inequality that has rankled many online entrepreneurs for years. Regular radio stations don't pay royalties to performers for their over-the-airwaves broadcasts, although they do pay royalties to composers and songwriters. "It's flat out unfair," says Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Washington-based Digital Media Association, which represents online music companies such as AOL. His organization is weighing its options, which include appealing the new schedule within 15 days. Judge James Sledge, who oversaw the proceedings at the Copyright Royalty Board, says the schedule "is our best determination" given the boundaries established by Congress.

03-20-2007, 09:36 PM
Brock thinks he's punk, slices up self (http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/page/news/41806-isaac-brock-self-mutilates-at-south-dakota-gig)

03-21-2007, 04:27 PM
Paul McCartney signs contract with starbucks (http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/21/starbucks.mccartney.ap/index.html)

Family keeps teen as slave (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/21/family.slave.ap/index.html)

03-21-2007, 04:32 PM
Family keeps teen as slave (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/21/family.slave.ap/index.html)
Can't get more whitetrash than that family. geez.

03-23-2007, 12:05 PM

Ufos are fo real.....bet.

mob roulette
03-23-2007, 12:16 PM

Ufos are fo real.....bet.

if they ever do prove that this shit is real or else leak what they already know, phoenix is so going to be the center of this. over half the people who live here have at least seen SOMETHING strange in the skies. and it goes back for YEARS too. i've heard stories. shit you wouldn't believe.

03-23-2007, 12:33 PM
Please informs us about UFO stories here or on BTMOW thread.

mob roulette
03-23-2007, 12:59 PM
Please informs us about UFO stories here or on BTMOW thread.

well to begin with, there's the stuff everybody knows about: travis walton, the phoenix lights, countless strange superstition mountain stuff over the years. i believe that at least two of the major investigative ufo organizations had their start here as well. from wikipeida, i also learned that arizona has had 1324 officially reported sightings since 1946, the sixth most in the country. the "unreported" stories though are the really interesting ones. my aunt told me once that my grandmother was one of about a hundred people who sat and watched one fly over the fairgrounds in the early 1950's. unreported. supposedly one equal in size to the "phoenix lights" but closer to the ground moved across the west valley in the summer of 1987. unreported. supposedly the gila river indian tribe is well aware of this phenomenon and have documented sightings going back well over a hundred years. if this thing IS real, my guess is that it's always been here and that it is in fact "here" all the time, we just can't see it. i'm making the assumption that ufo's, should they prove to be real, have very little to do with "space" and everything to do with "time". just my two cents. i'm not sure i really believe in any of this per se, i just think it's interesting that so much of it seems to happen out here in the big expansive west. denver, aurora, and parts of nevada and new mexico are are all hotbeds for this sort of activity.

03-23-2007, 01:02 PM
denver, aurora?

03-23-2007, 01:05 PM
Where are most of the the gila river indian tribe located? mostly throughout the Phoenix area?

mob roulette
03-23-2007, 01:05 PM
si. out past that new airport of yours. towards kansas. people see shit out there all the time. ask around.

mob roulette
03-23-2007, 01:06 PM
Where are most of the the gila river indian tribe located? mostly throughout the Phoenix area?

south to southwest of the valley. sort of in between south mountain and the estrellas. if memory serves.

03-23-2007, 01:07 PM
Its scary as hell out past the new airport. There are a ton of old missile silos out there.

mob roulette
03-23-2007, 01:13 PM
i heard somewhere that half of denver proper lies on top of underground military shit. not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but that's one embedded city. there's like a hum in the air everytime i visit.

03-23-2007, 01:16 PM
Richard is real.

03-23-2007, 01:20 PM
Yeah I hear it all the time, that they have a underground highway that runs from Norad to Denver for president/nuclear bullshity. Then you get all the DIA was built on miltary installations, which I believe because you can see the missile silos when you fly into DIA. Its was always fun to get a high as hell and sneak into them, all sorts of crazy shit down there. They are enormous.

03-23-2007, 01:28 PM
So you have never seen any crazy shit Mob?

04-04-2007, 07:39 PM
Virtual feds visit Second Life (http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/internet/04/04/secondlife.gambling.reut/index.html)

this is interesting. the span of this game is just incredible. to think that people actually sell things in game and make real money from it blows my mind.

definitely blurs the line of reality a little.

04-05-2007, 08:16 AM
I do not like this, sam I am. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070405/film_nm/gorey_dc)

04-10-2007, 07:50 PM
My couch hates you. (http://www.thestar.com/article/200265)

04-10-2007, 07:57 PM
it's a nice sofa.

04-22-2007, 05:56 PM
big feature article in the NYT today on Philip Anschutz. Coachella isn't mentioned but the timing is interesting.


04-23-2007, 06:58 AM
There is a pretty cool section in the LA Times right now on Coachella-Present and past here: Coachella (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/coachella/)

05-04-2007, 08:46 AM


05-04-2007, 09:15 AM
I guess we all missed this since most of us were at coachella:

Hugh Grant arrested after attacking someone with baked beans. (http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSL2652442420070426)

05-04-2007, 01:24 PM
LAWLZ!!!!! creepy ol dude.


05-04-2007, 01:28 PM
That Bob Dylan one cracks me up. Actually, Hugh Grant does too.

05-04-2007, 01:36 PM
It's like everything I think is funny or interesting on digg, Justin does too.
You're my soul mate. I miss your smell.

05-04-2007, 01:40 PM
I<3 u Adamnikyo.

05-04-2007, 01:51 PM

05-04-2007, 02:05 PM
you bet ur sweet ass.

05-09-2007, 11:24 AM
ok, i really can't handle this.


05-12-2007, 02:05 PM
From Yahoo:

Well, as we all know by now, last week the judge threw the book at part-time pop star Paris Hilton..... when the judge refused to let Elliot take the fall, the harebrained heiress changed her strategy...and asked her fans to sign a petition urging California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon her because she provides "beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives"

I sure am glad Paris is around to spice up my otherwise mundane existence.

05-12-2007, 02:24 PM
If anyone starts up a petition to Schwarzenegger to urge him to consider capital punishment for Paris, I'll sign. Let me know.

full on idle
05-17-2007, 08:38 PM

Who's getting one?

05-24-2007, 05:01 PM
_____'s on a _____ (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/24/ap/strange/main2849934.shtml)

05-30-2007, 08:53 AM
Man in underwear wrestles leopard out of bed (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070529/ap_on_fe_st/israel_cat_call;_ylt=AnKsg8KUzPFYuirsvurmNDXMWM0F)

Du Mosch's pet cat was in the bed with him at the time, along with his young daughter who had been frightened by a mosquito in her own room.

Imagine how traumatized this girl must be after freaking out about just a mosquito.

06-05-2007, 10:26 AM
there is nothing special about this article. I just post it because it is yet another example of why I hate the Arizona Republic so much.

note: the headline says the exact opposite of what the story says. It's like the page editor is either too stupid or too lazy to comprehend what a simple 5-sentence article says.

Smoker stabbed in throat after refusing to move
Becky Bartkowski
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 5, 2007 09:48 AM

An argument about smoking in front of a bar led to a man being stabbed in the throat with a pocketknife on the 4100 block of East McDowell Road early Tuesday morning.

The victim asked 40-year-old Isman Warsame not to smoke near a doorway of Wander Inn Bar and the two argued, according to Phoenix Police documents.

Warsame then took out a pocketknife and stabbed the victim's throat, according to those documents. The victim is in serious but stable condition.

Police are searching for Warsame, who authorities believe fled the scene, according to Phoenix Police documents.

06-05-2007, 11:13 AM
So the smoker was the stabber? Oh man. That is seriously poor editing. I used to subscribe to the Republic back in 2000, but I never had enough time to read the whole thing, and my god, all that paper garbage. And of course the writing is shit. No thanks.

06-07-2007, 05:55 AM
This (http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070604/full/447618a.html) is great news!!

06-07-2007, 08:24 AM
Do you make more than the neighborhood meth man


06-07-2007, 08:37 AM
This is how I imagine Tom interacting with his daughter(s?). (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/fashion/07Cyber.html)

06-07-2007, 08:37 AM
This (http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070604/full/447618a.html) is great news!!

Not that great:

"This is really dangerous. We would never transplant these into a patient," says Jaenisch. In his view, research into embryonic stem cells made by cloning remains "absolutely essential".

06-07-2007, 08:47 AM
This is how I imagine Tom interacting with his daughter(s?). (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/fashion/07Cyber.html)

LOL. Tom would have a emo facebook page.

06-07-2007, 08:55 AM
This is how I imagine Tom interacting with his daughter(s?). (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/fashion/07Cyber.html)

ahahahahahahhahaa that's funny. but she's right only creepy adults like ken do that shit.

I liked this part the best:

“I can’t really comment on your family dynamics,” said Brandee Barker, a Facebook spokeswoman. “But I can say that more than 50 percent of Facebook users are outside of college now. As our original demographic gets older, we want to be able to include their social networks.”

“Maybe I should lay off my daughter,” I said.

“Facebook is all about being a reflection of real-world relationships,” she said. “The same thing you’re experiencing with your daughter online is a reflection of how you’re not a part of her social network in real life.”

“I thought you weren’t going to comment on my family dynamics,” I said.

06-07-2007, 08:57 AM
Not that great:

This work is in its initial stages, not only does it make it easier for one to investigate what makes an embryonic stem cell an embryonic stem cell it also allows one to bypass the ban on embryonic stem cell research that is currently being upheld in the U.S. If the law is not overturned, this method of studying embryonic stem cells will be key if the U.S. wants to keep up with the rest of the world in this field.

06-07-2007, 08:59 AM
yes but the research is not just for research's sake, right? I mean eventually we'll want to be able to apply what we wll have learned. And to do that we're back to the egg/embryo roadblock. at least for now.

you're the expert, have I understood that right?

06-07-2007, 09:06 AM
You are exactly right, I am counting on the "roadblock" to be lifted. However, in order to keep up with the rest of the world, until the ban is lifted, these de-differentiated cells provide a novel tool for embryonic stem cell research in the U.S. I am hardly an expert, but, with more work done on these cells and understanding what causes them to go back to their (semi)pluripotent state I see no reason why they could not have the same potential as cells taken directly from an embryo.

psychic friend
06-07-2007, 11:23 AM


06-11-2007, 02:06 PM

I think they could have been more, um, careful in writing the headline.

06-11-2007, 11:05 PM


I am still hugely confused by that site. I'm not sure I understand the skewed bell curve they show. And various other mitigating factors.

Also I hover around 15%.

06-12-2007, 12:58 AM
Off subject, but I just read Cat's Cradle, and realized where your name comes from, John. Excellent.

06-12-2007, 07:08 AM
Haha, nice, Bryan. I hope it wasn't too scary, coming across my name in a book like that.

Yesterday I read a review of Boxer which mentioned Alligator as being like "Williard Grant Conspiracy gone post-punk." At the time I laughed at this (and other, more ridiculous statements) but I'm listening to Flying Low this morning and I kinda hear where they're coming from.

The voice is a little more gravely but it's still mellow and lazy. The music has a little more old time country roughness to it but there's no twang. The strings and such are there, too. Also I love both bands.

I know this is a little worthless without linking the review (which was no longer than this post) but whatev.

06-12-2007, 11:00 PM
discuss (http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_159222541.html)

06-12-2007, 11:05 PM
I predict a huge increase in people saying things like "who gaybombed this party?". This is terrible news for witty banter.

psychic friend
06-15-2007, 10:53 AM
SEEhowYOURcarCRASHES (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/safety-recalls/carcrashtest/crashtestvideo.htm)

06-15-2007, 10:58 AM
Hmmm. Good/Acceptable. Although that video still is disturbing.

06-22-2007, 05:02 AM

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky

(CNN) -- A girl's feet were cut off Thursday when a free-fall thrill ride malfunctioned at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park in Louisville, Kentucky, police said.

A cord wrapped around the 16-year-old's feet and severed them at her ankles while she was on the "Superman Tower of Power," a police dispatcher said. The girl was taken to a local hospital.

An unidentified witness told CNN affiliate WLKY she saw a cable on the ride snap.

"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

"That could have been all of us -- riding that ride," witness Whitney Sandfer told CNN affiliate WDRB/WMYO.

The incident took place shortly before 5 p.m. ET, according to Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg. The park remained open, but the ride in question was shut down and will remain so until the full investigation is complete, Goldberg said.

During the ride, passengers are lifted to 177 feet, suspended momentarily and then dropped, according to the park's Web site.

Passengers drop 154 feet at 54 mph, stopping "just 20 terrifying feet above the pavement," it adds.

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO.

"The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," Stinnett said.

The ride was introduced in 1995.

06-22-2007, 07:56 AM

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky


"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO.

Frankly, I need to hear someone pronounce "pwchh," because I just can't make it work in my head. Having grown up in Southwestern Ohio, though, it's nice to be able to hear the rest of the quote in that distinctive Kentucky accent.

06-22-2007, 08:00 AM

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky

(CNN) -- A girl's feet were cut off Thursday when a free-fall thrill ride malfunctioned at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park in Louisville, Kentucky, police said.

A cord wrapped around the 16-year-old's feet and severed them at her ankles while she was on the "Superman Tower of Power," a police dispatcher said. The girl was taken to a local hospital.

An unidentified witness told CNN affiliate WLKY she saw a cable on the ride snap.

"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

"That could have been all of us -- riding that ride," witness Whitney Sandfer told CNN affiliate WDRB/WMYO.

The incident took place shortly before 5 p.m. ET, according to Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg. The park remained open, but the ride in question was shut down and will remain so until the full investigation is complete, Goldberg said.

During the ride, passengers are lifted to 177 feet, suspended momentarily and then dropped, according to the park's Web site.

Passengers drop 154 feet at 54 mph, stopping "just 20 terrifying feet above the pavement," it adds.

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO.

"The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," Stinnett said.

The ride was introduced in 1995.

gnarly...theres already cell pictures floating around the net...pretty fucked up.

Good Days Last
06-22-2007, 08:32 AM
The Hagers are trying to figure out how life went off track for their teenage daughter, Windy.

They envisioned that life for the good student and promising athlete would be filled with dreams of the prom and college, but that all changed this week when Windy, 16, married her high school track coach.

"She was a dream kid," said her mother, Betty Hager. "We'd never have to worry about Windy trying to get by with something."

At South Brunswick High School in North Carolina, Windy's greatest passion was track and field.

"She just always was outside, always running, and her name's Windy — I guess she was predestined to do love to do that," Betty said.

But that passion led her down a troubling path.

Special Attention From Coach

During Windy's freshman year, her 38-year-old track coach, Brenton Wuchae, began taking a more active interest in her, offering to give the 14-year-old rides home from practice.

"He just seemed like a genuine guy, like he was there for the kids," said Windy's father, Dennis Hager.

But the Hagers eventually grew uneasy. Their phone bills showed text messages between Wuchae and Windy as late as 2 a.m.

They also discovered worrying e-mails. In one, Windy wrote to a friend, "I don't care to look at anyone other than him. He is the apple of my eye, I've never felt this way for someone, but I just don't want to lose him because of my parents' power trips."

The Hagers confronted Wuchae.

"He assured me there was nothing like that going on, [and that] they were just friends. His intentions were purely appropriate," Dennis said.

Not satisfied with that answer, the Hagers turned to the school district, which spoke to the coach.

The principal of the high school wrote to the Hagers, "I have seen nothing but a cooperative attitude from the teacher, and to the best of my knowledge, he has not had any contact with Windy since then."

"School officials can't be responsible for what happens the other hours of the day, and I would think the relationship developed much more outside of school," said Brian Shaw, an attorney for the school district.

The Hagers contacted police; they even tried to get a restraining order.

"We've tried everybody. We've been to the law. We've been to the school board," Betty said. "Our family has come and tried to talk to her. We've had people on the phone with her for hours — family, friends. We've been to our pastor asking for guidance. We've been to his pastor."

Meanwhile, the Hagers say Windy withdrew, refusing to speak to them until she asked them to sign a consent form so that she and her coach — a man more than twice her age — could get married.

Although anguished, her weary parents gave in.

"Signing those consent forms was the hardest thing I did in my whole life, but we had to move on, it was going to kill us all," Dennis said.

Monday, Windy and Wuchae married, and he resigned from the school.

But was Windy really old enough to understand her decision? Experts say it's a difficult situation.

"With most teenagers, they're not sure yet who's who and what's what and what should be done," said Henry Paul, author of the book "Is My Teenager OK?" "It's obviously up to the adult figure to set the boundaries."

Windy and her new husband would not comment for this story, but the Hagers realize what they've lost.

"She could have done anything," Betty said. "She could have set the world on fire. She threw it all away.


That last line even stings me. Giving up potential for love? The f***.

06-22-2007, 08:56 AM
Spice Girls spark speculation of comeback Fri Jun 22, 9:26 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - The Spice Girls are to make an announcement about their future plans next week, sparking speculation that one of the world's most successful girl bands is set to reunite for a new album and concert tour.

The Spice Girls sold more than 30 million albums and topped charts around the world before Posh, Scary, Sporty, Baby and Ginger decided to pursue solo careers with differing levels of success.

Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell left the group in 1998 and the other four quit in 2001.

"The Spice Girls are set to make an official announcement to the world regarding future plans on Thursday 28th June," their management said in a statement on Friday.

"No further information can be given at this time but given the band's unique history you can be sure to expect the unexpected," Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment said.

06-22-2007, 09:00 AM
That's it. No high school sports for my girls.

06-22-2007, 10:18 AM

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky

(CNN) -- A girl's feet were cut off Thursday when a free-fall thrill ride malfunctioned at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park in Louisville, Kentucky, police said.

A cord wrapped around the 16-year-old's feet and severed them at her ankles while she was on the "Superman Tower of Power," a police dispatcher said. The girl was taken to a local hospital.

An unidentified witness told CNN affiliate WLKY she saw a cable on the ride snap.

"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

"That could have been all of us -- riding that ride," witness Whitney Sandfer told CNN affiliate WDRB/WMYO.

The incident took place shortly before 5 p.m. ET, according to Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg. The park remained open, but the ride in question was shut down and will remain so until the full investigation is complete, Goldberg said.

During the ride, passengers are lifted to 177 feet, suspended momentarily and then dropped, according to the park's Web site.

Passengers drop 154 feet at 54 mph, stopping "just 20 terrifying feet above the pavement," it adds.

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO.

"The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," Stinnett said.

The ride was introduced in 1995.

i forgot to mention this before.heres a fucked up story. if you lived in the bay around the turn of the millenium you are most likely familiar with this. my friends older sister worked at great america( a local theme park owned by paramount) doing crowd control(security). she was posted near the arcade section which is next to a ride called the "drop zone stunt tower", which is a 250 ft free fall pretty much. anyways, one day this kid goes on the ride(it was later discovered that he was retarded) and manages to wiggle out of the harness when the cart is at its highest and he falls all the way down to the ground. from what i remember she said "his feet hit the ground first and broke in reverse and then his torso, and then his head split into peices". the thing i most remember is her description of an employee who was standing about 10 feet from the impact zone and getting pretty much the entire contents of this kids head all over his work shirt, to which he stood there for about a minute shocked, took off his soiled shirt, throwing it on the ground, saying "fuck this" and then walking right out of the park... my friends sis ended up having to deal with about 100 screaming panicked people including the grandparents of the dead kid, which she ended up having to go to therapy for. the strangest thing about all of this is about a month after, she quit. and a week after her quitting, she got a letter from the disney corporation stating that they had heard about her fine handling of the situation and they offered her a job as a head of security for toon town...

06-22-2007, 10:21 AM
that is fucked

06-22-2007, 10:26 AM
i forgot to add that they had to remove a section of the park called "nickleodeons Splat City" after the incident, due to complaints...

06-22-2007, 10:37 AM

06-22-2007, 02:58 PM

06-22-2007, 03:42 PM
say no to amusement park rides....and screw six flags, I want the old marine world back, not this "animal kingdom + rides" shit

06-22-2007, 03:58 PM
say no to amusement park rides....and screw six flags, I want the old marine world back, not this "animal kingdom + rides" shit

marine world africa USA > six flags vallejo

06-22-2007, 04:02 PM
I like amusement park rides. The deaths are extremely rare as far as I can tell.

06-27-2007, 02:10 PM
AMA softens video-game addiction measure By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
Wed Jun 27, 1:51 PM ET

The American Medical Association on Wednesday backed off calling excessive video-game playing a formal psychiatric addiction, saying instead that more research is needed.

A report prepared for the AMA's annual policy meeting had sought to strongly encourage that video-game addiction be included in a widely used diagnostic manual of psychiatric illnesses.

AMA delegates instead adopted a watered-down measure declaring that while overuse of video games and online games can be a problem for children and adults, calling it a formal addiction would be premature.

"While more study is needed on the addictive potential of video games, the AMA remains concerned about the behavioral, health and societal effects of video game and Internet overuse," said Dr. Ronald Davis, AMA's president. "We urge parents to closely monitor children's use of video games and the Internet."

Despite a lack of scientific proof, Jacob Schulist, 14, of Hales Corners, Wis., says he's certain he was addicted to video games — and that the AMA's vote was misguided.

Until about two months ago, when he discovered a support group called On-Line Gamers Anonymous, Jacob said he played online fantasy video games for 10 hours straight some days.

He said his habit got so severe that he quit spending time with family and friends.

"My grades were horrible, I failed the entire first semester" this past school year because of excessive video-game playing, he said. "It's like they're your life."

Delegates voted to have the AMA encourage more research on the issue, including seeking studies on what amount of video-game playing and other "screen time" is appropriate for children.

Under the new policy, the AMA also will send the revised video-game measure to the American Psychiatric Association, asking it to consider the full report in its diagnostic manual; the next edition is to be completed in 2012.

Dr. Louis Kraus, a psychiatric association spokesman, said the report will be a helpful resource.

The AMA's report says up to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and that up to 15 percent of them — more than 5 million kids — might be addicted.

The report, prepared by the AMA's Council on Science and Public Health, also says "dependence-like behaviors are more likely in children who start playing video games at younger ages."

Internet role-playing games involving multiple players, which can suck kids into an online fantasy world, are the most problematic, the report says. That's the kind of game Schulist says hooked him.

Kraus, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Chicago's Rush Medical Center, said behavior that looks like addiction in video-game players may be a symptom of social anxiety, depression or another psychiatric problem.

He praised the AMA report for recommending more research.

"They're trying very hard not to make a premature diagnosis," Kraus said.

In other action on the final day of the AMA's annual policy meeting, delegates:

• Voted to have the AMA support government policies requiring fast-food restaurant chains to provide menus detailing nutritional information including calories, fat and sodium content. A key way to fighting the obesity epidemic "is that people know what they're eating," Davis said.

• Recommended more research on a potential link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity. A measure had sought to have the AMA seek government restrictions on the popular sweetener and food labels declaring that excessive consumption of it may lead to obesity.

• Rejected a move to lobby for limits on the noise levels of in-ear headphones used with iPods and other music-playing devices. A resolution supporting limits said devices with in-ear headphones can generate sound well above 100 decibels — more noise than a chain saw makes and levels that have been linked with permanent hearing loss. AMA delegates voted instead to seek more research on the issue.

06-28-2007, 10:37 AM

From the Los Angeles Times
Driving with rented risks
U-Haul International is the nation's largest provider of rental trailers. A Times investigation finds the company's practices raise the risk of accidents on the road.
By Alan C. Miller and Myron Levin
Times Staff Writers

June 24, 2007

TUCSON — Marissa Sternberg sits in her wheelchair, barely able to move or speak. Caregivers are always at her side. Progress is measured in tiny steps: an unclenched fist, a look of recognition, a smile for her father.

Nearly four years ago, Sternberg was a high-spirited 19-year-old bound for veterinary school in Denver. She rented a U-Haul trailer to move her belongings, hitched it to her Toyota Land Cruiser and hit the road with her two dogs and a friend.

That evening, as the Land Cruiser descended a hill in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico, the trailer began to swing from side to side, pushing the SUV as if trying to muscle it off the road.

"I knew something bad was going to happen," recalled Corina Maya Hollander, who was taking a turn behind the wheel. "We both knew."

The Land Cruiser flipped and bounced along Interstate 25. The trailer broke free and careened off the road. Hollander crawled from the wreckage, her head throbbing.

Sternberg, who had been thrown from the SUV, lay sprawled on the highway, unable to move.

"Where are my dogs?" she screamed. "Somebody go find my dogs!"

Sternberg fell victim to a peril long familiar to U-Haul International: "trailer sway," a leading cause of severe towing accidents.

Traveling downhill or shaken by a sharp turn or a gust of wind, a trailer can begin swinging so violently that only the most experienced — or fortunate — drivers can regain control and avoid catastrophe.

U-Haul, the nation's largest provider of rental trailers, says it is "highly conservative" about safety. But a yearlong Times investigation, which included more than 200 interviews and a review of thousands of pages of court records, police reports, consumer complaints and other documents, found that company practices have heightened the risk of towing accidents.

The safest way to tow is with a vehicle that weighs much more than the trailer. A leading trailer expert and U-Haul consultant has likened this principle to "motherhood and apple pie."

Yet U-Haul allows customers to pull trailers as heavy as or heavier than their own vehicles.

It often allows trailers to stay on the road for months without a thorough safety inspection, in violation of its own policies.

Bad brakes have been a recurring problem with its large trailers. The one Sternberg rented lacked working brakes.

Its small and midsize trailers have no brakes at all, a policy that conflicts with the laws of at least 14 states.

It relaxed a key safety rule as it pushed to increase rentals of one type of trailer, used to haul vehicles, and then failed to enforce even the weakened standard. Customers were killed or maimed in ensuing crashes that might have been avoided.

The company's approach to mitigating the risks of towing relies heavily on customers, many of them novices, some as young as 18. They are expected to grasp and carry out detailed instructions for loading and towing trailers, and to respond coolly in a crisis.

But many renters never see those instructions — distribution of U-Haul's user guide is spotty.

To those who receive and read it, the guide offers this advice for coping with a swinging trailer: Stay off the car's brakes and hold the wheel straight. Many drivers will reflexively do the opposite, which can make the swaying worse.

Yet when accidents occur, U-Haul almost always blames the customer.

Proper loading of the trailer is crucial in preventing sway. U-Haul tells customers to put 60% of the weight in the front half and suggests a three-step process to check that the load is balanced correctly.

But the company has declined to offer an inexpensive, portable scale that would help renters get it right.

U-Haul vigorously defends its safety record. Executives say that the company diligently maintains its fleet of more than 200,000 trucks and trailers, and that decades of testing, experience and engineering advances have steadily reduced its accident rates.

"Our equipment is suited for your son and daughter," said Edward J. "Joe" Shoen, chairman of U-Haul and its parent company, Amerco. "On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say U-Haul is rated 10 in safety."

It is unknown how many U-Haul customers have crashed because of trailer sway. No government agency keeps track of such accidents, and U-Haul declined to provide a comprehensive count or year-by-year figures.

But statistical snapshots the company has produced in civil litigation hint at the scope of the problem and show that it has persisted for decades.

In a lawsuit stemming from the Sternberg crash, U-Haul listed 173 reported sway-related accidents from 1993 to 2003 involving a single trailer model.

In a case from the 1970s, the company disclosed 1,173 such crashes involving all trailer types during a 3 1/2-year period.

In other cases, it has listed up to 650 reported sway-related wrecks from about 1990 to 2002 involving two-wheeled trailers called tow dollies.

Still, U-Haul says statistics indicate that drivers towing its trailers are less likely to crash than are other motorists. This is so, U-Haul says, because people drive more cautiously when moving their families and belongings.

The claim has not been independently verified and is viewed skeptically by some outside experts.

Shoen said sway-related accidents almost always result from customer mistakes, primarily failing to load the trailer properly and exceeding U-Haul's recommended top speed of 45 mph. The company said both errors contributed to the Sternberg crash.

"U-Haul customers drive the equivalent of to the moon and back over 10 times a day," Shoen said in a recent conference call with investors, "and, regrettably, accidents occur."


U-Haul International Inc., founded in 1945, is the leader of the do-it-yourself moving industry. It sends millions of Americans out on the road annually in its signature orange-and-white trucks and trailers.

The Phoenix-based company, built on low cost and convenience, has about 1,450 company-owned centers and 14,500 independent dealers. It took in about $1.5 billion from equipment rentals last year.

Many U-Haul customers are college students, weekend movers and others who have never hauled a trailer before.

It is not unusual for a trailer to swing slightly. This normally poses little or no threat, but can be a sign of trouble.

Accidents often happen when a driver gains speed going downhill. The trailer whips from side to side more and more powerfully and finally takes control of the tow vehicle — a situation known as "the tail wagging the dog."

Peter Keith, a Canadian safety expert, described the danger in a 1984 report for transportation officials in British Columbia.

"When the trailer suddenly starts [to] swing violently, the driver can often be caught unawares and is further faced with a very dangerous situation which requires considerable skill and presence of mind to resolve," Keith wrote. "Probably only a small minority of drivers are in practice capable of bringing the vehicle combination back under control."

The weight of the tow vehicle relative to the trailer is a crucial factor. The heavier the tow vehicle, the easier it is to control the combination.

Richard H. Klein, an authority on trailer dynamics who has served as an expert witness for U-Haul, underscored the point during one court appearance. He was asked if he'd rather be driving "a larger tow vehicle than a smaller one" if a trailer began to swing.

"Yes," he replied. "That's like motherhood and apple pie."

In keeping with this tenet, other major companies do not allow customers to pull rental equipment with passenger vehicles. Penske Truck Leasing and Budget Truck Rental compete with U-Haul in renting two types of tow equipment: tow dollies and auto transports.

But Penske and Budget provide equipment only to customers who rent large trucks to pull the load. They say safety is the reason.

Penske's trucks are "engineered to pull these types of loads," said spokesman Randolph P. Ryerson. The company has "no way to make sure other vehicles would have the same adequate towing capabilities," he said.

U-Haul allows customers to tow its trailers, tow dollies and other equipment with passenger vehicles as well as with the company's large trucks. Most renters use SUVs or pickups, which have a high center of gravity and are prone to rollovers.

Moreover, customers are permitted to pull trailers that weigh as much as or more than their own vehicles.

Under U-Haul rules, the company's largest trailers, which are equipped with brakes, can outweigh the customer's vehicle by up to 25% when fully loaded. Smaller units, which do not have brakes, can weigh as much as the tow vehicle.

U-Haul says extensive research at an Arizona test track and other sites has shown that its weight rules are safe, provided customers use its equipment as instructed.

But the rules conflict with the safety recommendations of some auto manufacturers.

Ford Motor Co., for example, advises owners of the 2007 Crown Victoria, which weighs about 4,100 pounds, to tow no more than 1,500 pounds. Owners of the lighter Mustang are advised not to pull a trailer weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

U-Haul will allow a Crown Victoria to tow a trailer weighing up to 4,400 pounds and a Mustang to pull up to 2,500 pounds.

(U-Haul has banned towing with Ford Explorers since late 2003. Shoen said the SUV was not unsafe but had become "a magnet for attorneys.")

Honda Motor Co. says its vehicles should not pull trailers that weigh more than 1,000 pounds unless the trailers have brakes. General Motors offers the same advice for many of its models. Nissan Motor Co. tells owners of its Pathfinder SUV that trailer brakes "MUST be used" with a trailer weighing 1,000 pounds or more.

Yet U-Haul permits customers driving Pathfinders as well as Honda and GM vehicles to tow un-braked trailers that weigh more than that.

Some vehicle makers also recommend using sway-control devices with trailers above certain weights. These devices come in various forms and include bars or brackets that limit side-to-side movement of the trailer.

U-Haul says such equipment is not needed when "towing a properly loaded U-Haul trailer."

Automakers say their guidelines are meant to promote safety and prevent undue wear on engines, brakes and other components.

"We would consider it unsafe to tow outside of those recommendations because that is what we tested the vehicle to be capable of towing," said Honda spokesman Chris Martin. "We'd rather be safe than have someone get into an accident."

In response, U-Haul said: "Our recommendations are based upon 61 years of experience, knowledge of our rental trailers and exhaustive testing spanning decades."


Cargo trailers are not the only U-Haul equipment that is vulnerable to sway. It can also happen with the company's tow dollies.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans use these two-wheeled trailers to haul vehicles across town or across the country.

U-Haul imposed tough conditions when it began renting the devices in 1982. It required that the tow vehicle weigh at least twice as much as the one to be towed. This would "ensure adequate braking and control," a company manual said.

But the rule crimped sales. Towing a typical-size car required a giant pickup or similar vehicle. John C. Abromavage, U-Haul's engineering director, testified in one lawsuit that the 2-to-1 standard "doesn't make sense other than to restrict your own market."

In 1986, U-Haul relaxed the rule, requiring that the tow vehicle be only 750 pounds heavier than the one behind it. Over the next few years, the company increased the maximum weight of vehicles that could be hauled on dollies, and lifted a ban on towing with small jeeps and SUVs.

The new policy boosted dolly rentals. But it conflicted with the guidelines of Dethmers Manufacturing Co., an Iowa firm that produced many of the U-Haul dollies used in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Dethmers recommended that the tow vehicle weigh at least 1,000 pounds more than the dolly and the second vehicle combined.

U-Haul said its relaxed standard still provided a reasonable safety margin. But in the past employees and dealers frequently ignored the rule, sometimes with tragic results, The Times found.

Before renting a dolly, U-Haul agents were supposed to check a manual to make sure the tow vehicle was heavy enough. If not, the rental was to be rejected.

That was news to two employees at a U-Haul dealer in Nogales, Ariz. In February 1999, one of them filled out a contract for a Ford Ranger to tow a Ford Tempo. The other hitched a tow dolly to the Ranger.

Because the two vehicles weighed nearly the same, the rental was prohibited under U-Haul rules. Both employees said later in depositions that they had never seen, much less used, the U-Haul manual.

Maria Lozano-Millan, 32, rode off in the Ranger with her 7-year-old son, Luis, and her sister. They drove to El Paso, picked up the sister's disabled Tempo, and headed back home.

They never made it.

Descending a hill on Interstate 10 south of Benson, Ariz., the tow dolly and the Tempo fishtailed, pushing the Ranger off the road. The pickup's roof was crushed as it skidded along a rocky outcropping, killing all three occupants.

U-Haul denied the weight violation caused the accident. Responding to the family's lawsuit, the company blamed Lozano-Millan's sister for speeding and for hitting the brakes when the trailer began to sway, contrary to U-Haul's safety instructions.

But a former U-Haul area manager said under oath that the employees' oversight caused the "senseless" tragedy.

When he learned of the wreck, testimony showed, he called the dealership's manager and said: "You just killed somebody."

U-Haul settled the case with an undisclosed payment. The company said it cut ties with the dealer, who violated "policies and procedures in the rental of this combination."

Mario Lozano, 50, Maria's companion and Luis' father, carries worn photos of them in his wallet and lights a candle in their memory on their birthdays.

"Every day that passes is getting me closer to joining them somewhere," he said.


The Times reviewed police reports and other records on 222 crashes nationwide from 1989 through 2004 in which drivers lost control while pulling U-Haul tow dollies.

In 105 cases, the documents contained enough detail to determine the vehicle weights.

In 51 of those crashes — 49% — the rentals violated U-Haul's rule requiring the tow vehicle to be at least 750 pounds heavier than the one being towed.

In some of the crashes, the tow vehicle weighed less than the one it was towing.

At least 12 people were killed in the ensuing wrecks.

Unsafe weight combinations may not always be U-Haul's fault. The company relies on the renters of dollies to provide accurate information about what kind of vehicle they will tow, and some do not, former employees said. It could not be determined if that happened in any of the cases studied by The Times.

Casey Curtis, who rented a U-Haul dolly in 2002, said he was never asked what he planned to tow and didn't realize weight could be a safety issue.

Curtis, a construction worker from Orem, Utah, had the dolly hitched to his Suzuki Samurai and used it to tow a Geo Tracker, a vehicle of nearly equal weight.

Going down a hill in Utah in high winds, the dolly began to slide side-to-side. Fighting for control, Curtis overcorrected the steering, a police report said. The trailer came loose and flipped. Curtis crashed head-on into an oncoming car.

Several people were hurt. Curtis, then 25, escaped with minor injuries, but says he still has "slow-motion" nightmares about the wreck.

"They didn't even ask me what I was towing," he said. "I had no idea what kind of consequences came from not having a heavier tow vehicle."

Steve Taub, U-Haul's assistant general counsel, said the company has curbed weight violations. In 2001, it began phasing in a computerized towing manual that blocks the rental contract if an agent types in an improper combination. Taub said violations "are less of an occurrence now."

However, current and former U-Haul dealers and employees said the system, though an improvement, isn't foolproof. A determined customer could lie about what he is towing — just as a dealer could deliberately enter the wrong vehicle model to complete the sale.

U-Haul also says there have been fewer dolly accidents since a wider model, designed for greater stability, was phased in starting in the late 1990s. Shoen said it has eliminated sway: "We're not experiencing it in the new product."

But documents produced by U-Haul in a Kentucky lawsuit show that several dozen customers have filed claims alleging that they lost control and crashed using the wider dollies.

The Kentucky case involved just such an accident. Airline pilot Chris Burke was moving his family from Indiana to Florida in 2002, towing a Ford Contour. When the Contour fishtailed on Interstate 65 near Louisville, Burke's Explorer smashed into a guardrail and flipped onto its side.

Burke's infant son, Ryan, suffered a fractured skull. His wife, Corry, 25, sustained severe spinal-cord damage, leaving her a paraplegic.

The rental met U-Haul's current weight standard, but Burke's lawyers contended that the company should never have loosened its original 2-to-1 weight rule.

"They knew then and they know now that you needed a larger vehicle in front," lawyer Peter Perlman told the jury. "That's just simply physics."

U-Haul's lawyer responded that the current weight rule was "provably safe" and that the wider dolly "is safe, is stable, is controllable."

U-Haul contended that Burke was driving too fast — estimates of his speed ranged from 50 to 60 mph — and that he lost control on a rain-slick road.

Nevertheless, the jury found U-Haul liable for renting "unreasonably dangerous" equipment and awarded $11.6 million in damages, reducing the amount by about a tenth after finding that Corry Burke was not wearing a seat belt.

Chris Burke said the verdict has not diminished his bitterness.

"Profits are No. 1," he said of U-Haul. "Safety concern for their customer is last. My wife will never walk again. There's not a day in my son's life when she will be able to pick him up and hug him. A judgment can't return that."


Marissa Sternberg was a born caregiver.

At age 12, she worked with disabled children in a therapeutic horseback-riding program. When her grandmother was going blind, Sternberg read to her and served as her chauffeur. In high school, she nursed her dog back to health when the boxer was stricken with a potentially fatal disease.

She went to grade school in Tucson with Corina Hollander's son. Despite the difference in age, the women became friends, sharing a love of animals.

In September 2003, Sternberg was set to start classes at a school in Denver that trains veterinary technicians, and she asked Hollander to make the drive with her.

Sternberg and her boyfriend, Michael Lemons, packed her bed, television and other belongings into a 6-by-12-foot U-Haul trailer.

They noticed the trailer was in "horrible condition," Lemons recalled. Springs in the suspension were so corroded that they resembled "stalactites," he said.

Sternberg called a U-Haul helpline, and a representative agreed that she should exchange the trailer. But the next morning — Sept. 3 — an employee at a local U-Haul center made some minor adjustments and sent her on her way. Hollander said Sternberg was "agitated" about the trailer's condition but eager to get going.

By 10 a.m., they were on the road.

As they left Tucson, the trailer began to rock Sternberg's Land Cruiser — "like a boat," Hollander recalled.

Sternberg tapped the SUV's brakes and the rocking stopped. This continued intermittently as they left Arizona and entered southern New Mexico.

Late that afternoon, they stopped for gas near Socorro, N.M., and Hollander took the wheel. Soon after, the Toyota reached the crest of a hill on northbound Interstate 25 in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Below, the Rio Grande meandered through a lush valley rimmed with rugged mountains.

Hollander said she was going 45 to 50 mph and gained speed as she went downhill, reaching 60 mph. The trailer started to swerve. Hollander said she tapped the brakes but could not slow the vehicles. The swaying became violent.

"There was no way you could control it," she recalled. "It was sheer terror."

The Land Cruiser flipped, ending up on its side in the passing lane of the interstate. The trailer landed upside-down on the median.

Passersby stopped to tend to the two women and summon help. One of Sternberg's dogs was badly injured and had to be put down. The other lost a leg but survived.

In the ambulance, Hollander said she told Sternberg: "Marissa, just tell my family that I love them very much, in case I don't pull through this."

She said Sternberg responded: "Corina, we're lucky to be alive. We're going to be fine. We're all going to be fine."


Experts who examined the trailer for Sternberg's family found that its brakes were badly corroded and inoperable.

A month earlier, a customer had rented the same trailer in Missouri, and the U-Haul agent told her "it had no brakes," she said in a deposition.

By the time Sternberg rented it, the trailer had not had a thorough safety check in more than eight months, according to its U-Haul inspection sticker. It had been rented 19 times in that period.

Under U-Haul's rules, the trailer should have undergone a "safety certification," including a check of its brakes, tires and other essential parts, at least every 30 days.

U-Haul initially said skid marks and other evidence suggested the brakes were working at the time of the accident. Later, Shoen acknowledged to The Times that they were not. Even so, the company said defective brakes did not cause the crash.

After its investigators examined the battered trailer, the company said Sternberg loaded it improperly. U-Haul faulted Hollander for going too fast and turning the wheel when the swaying began.

U-Haul also contended that Sternberg was not wearing a seat belt, although the state trooper who investigated the crash concluded that she was.

Without admitting liability, the company settled the suit in May 2005. Sternberg attorney Patrick E. Broom declined to disclose the terms.

Shoen said in an interview that the condition of the trailer was "totally unacceptable … whether we caused the accident or not."

U-Haul's larger trailers have surge brakes that activate when the trailer pushes against the vehicle in front. They are designed to reduce wear on the brakes of the tow vehicle and make it easier to stop the combination.

Safety experts say that once a trailer is swinging erratically, surge brakes won't help. But by reducing the trailer's speed, the brakes can help prevent swaying in the first place or limit it before it becomes severe, experts say.

"If you do try to slow down and you can't get adequate performance from the trailer brakes, it certainly would make it harder to get out of a sway situation," said Robert Krouse, a General Motors engineer who is chairman of a Society of Automotive Engineers panel on towing.

U-Haul says trailer brakes help with straight-ahead stopping but don't reduce sway. Nevertheless, the company says, they should always work.

The Times found recurring problems with U-Haul trailer brakes. As far back as 1966, U-Haul's own insurer told the company it needed to do a better job maintaining them.

"We are increasing the risk of an accident by sending a trailer with faulty brakes on a rental which we advertise and represent as being safely equipped with brakes," wrote Frontier Insurance Agency of Portland, Ore. The memo surfaced in a lawsuit years later.

A 1995 crash in Indiana drove home the potential consequences of brake failure. Two people were killed in the wreck, which police said was caused by inoperable brakes on a U-Haul auto transport.

Shoen said U-Haul recognized in the late 1990s that trailer brakes were not being maintained well enough and responded by requiring more frequent inspections.

In a statement, U-Haul said that despite isolated incidents, there was no "pervasive pattern" of brake failures.

Yet problems have persisted.

Architect Mark Letzer rented a U-Haul trailer in 2003 to move from Los Angeles to New Orleans. With his son, Devin, driving on Interstate 10 in Texas, the trailer whipped violently and their Honda Passport overturned.

The elder Letzer, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and killed.

The family's lawsuit said faulty trailer brakes helped cause the crash. The plaintiffs presented evidence that there was little or no brake fluid in the trailer and some brake pads were missing. The trailer had gone two months without a safety certification, according to its U-Haul inspection sticker. It had been rented nine times during that period.

U-Haul said brake problems didn't cause the accident. It blamed improper loading and said Devin Letzer drove too fast and braked and steered improperly when the trailer began to snake. His father contributed to the crash by grabbing the wheel, the company said.

U-Haul settled the suit in February 2006.

Eric Christensen, an engineer, was moving his family from Utah to New Hampshire in 2001, towing a trailer behind his Explorer. His father, Ronald V. Christensen, was riding with him.

On an icy patch of Interstate 80 in Wyoming, the trailer whipped and both vehicles slid off the road. Neither man was injured, and they forged on, intending to exchange the trailer for a new one at a U-Haul center 70 miles ahead.

Minutes later, coming down a steep grade, the trailer began swaying wildly. The Explorer overturned and rolled twice, killing Ronald Christensen.

The family sued, citing expert reports that the trailer's brake-fluid reservoir was dry. U-Haul records indicated that the trailer was more than a month overdue for a safety inspection.

U-Haul contended that the brakes were working at the time of the accident and lost fluid later, when a hose was damaged in the towing of the wreckage.

The company blamed Eric Christensen for driving too fast and braking and steering too sharply. U-Haul settled the suit on confidential terms.

"My son's growing up without his grandfather," Christensen said recently. "I have to face my mom and my brothers and sisters thinking I was responsible for my dad's death."

Lew Jones was moving furniture from North Carolina to Rochester, N.Y., in 2005 when he veered to avoid another car. Jones said his U-Haul trailer jackknifed, pushing his Jeep Cherokee into a guardrail. Jones' wife escaped with minor injuries; he was unhurt.

A Virginia state trooper found no fluid in the trailer's brake reservoir. Because state law holds the driver responsible, he gave Jones an $86 ticket for driving with defective brakes. Jones' auto insurer slapped him with a three-year, $846 surcharge.

U-Haul denied the wreck resulted from a brake problem but declined to elaborate.

Trooper Scott T. Parsons said the accident might not have happened if the trailer had working brakes. "There's a reason those brakes are on those trailers," he said, "and that's to help in control of the vehicle."


With some U-Haul trailers, the issue is not bad brakes but a lack of brakes.

Most states require surge brakes on larger trailers such as the model Sternberg rented. At least 14 states also mandate brakes on smaller trailers under common conditions. Yet U-Haul ignores this requirement, renting small and midsize trailers that have no brakes.

In general, the state regulations say that trailers below 3,000 pounds must have brakes if they exceed 40% of the tow vehicle's weight. By that standard, two popular, un-braked U-Haul cargo trailers are frequently in violation of the rules.

For instance, U-Haul's 5-by-8-foot trailer, which weighs 2,700 pounds fully loaded, would be required to have brakes unless the tow vehicle weighed at least 6,750 pounds. Only giant pickups weigh that much. U-Haul routinely rents the trailer to customers using much smaller tow vehicles.

Shoen acknowledged that U-Haul was not in compliance with the state motor vehicle codes but suggested it was a trifling matter. To make his point, he pulled out a news clipping about a 201-year-old North Carolina law barring unmarried couples from living together.

What's important, Shoen said, is that vehicles towing U-Haul equipment can stop within state-mandated braking distances.

"The laws you're referring to are well-known to people at the state jurisdictions," he said. "But what happens is they enforce, or don't enforce, depending upon what the public good is."


John Abromavage, U-Haul's engineering director, once testified that as a witness for the company in some 200 cases, he had never seen an accident he regarded as U-Haul's fault.

Richard Klein, the trailer expert and U-Haul consultant, said in an interview that "U-Haul trailers and tow dollies are the most highly tested equipment in the industry…. Sway is not a problem with a properly loaded and driven trailer."

Peter Keith, the Canadian safety expert, offered a similar appraisal based on investigating tow-dolly crashes for U-Haul: "These accidents never occur when a vehicle is being driven in anywhere close to the manner in which it's meant to be."

The fault, in U-Haul's view, nearly always lies with customers — for loading the trailer incorrectly, driving too fast or otherwise failing to heed safety instructions.

They should know better, according to U-Haul. Taub, the U-Haul attorney, said the company's safety guide is given out "virtually without exception."

But former U-Haul employees and dealers said many customers did not receive guides. Some said they were too busy to distribute them. Steve Eggen, a former dealer in Alameda, Calif., said he left the pamphlets on a counter, and at most half his customers picked one up.

Tammie Wise, a onetime dealer and U-Haul general manager in Northern California, said that with long lines of anxious customers and few employees, "there just wasn't enough time" to make sure everyone got a copy.

In addition, the guides are not available in Spanish, though many customers are Latino. Shoen said a Spanish-language guide was "a nice idea," but "we don't have a big demand for it."

Christian S. Strong said he and Mindy Swegels were never informed of the risks when they rented a trailer to tow his motorcycle.

Strong and Swegels, who had just become engaged, were returning to Kentucky from a Florida vacation in May 2002. On Interstate 75 in Tennessee, the trailer swerved and their Ford Explorer flipped.

Swegels, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered multiple fractures and a head injury that left her brain-damaged, according to her lawsuit. U-Haul blamed inattentive driving and excessive speed.

Swegels and Strong said that they never received the U-Haul user guide and that trailer decals citing a 45-mph speed limit were missing or illegible.

To bolster their case, their engineering experts rented 12 U-Haul trailers at various sites. They said they were given user guides only twice.

In February, the jury rejected the claim that the trailer was defective but found U-Haul negligent for failing to warn about the risks. It awarded nearly $2.6 million in damages.

Strong said that if he'd known about the dangers of towing above U-Haul's recommended 45-mph speed limit, he would have left his motorcycle behind.

"I'm not going to risk my life to take a bike 850 miles," he testified.

Even when clearly communicated, the 45-mph limit is problematic.

It's a challenge for anyone traveling cross-country or around California, since prevailing speeds are often at least 70 mph on interstates. Some experts say going 45 mph on a major highway is hazardous because it increases the chance of being hit from behind.

Shoen said the 45-mph ceiling was meant to "create a compensatory attitude." Customers may not go 45, but "maybe they'll go 55 or 60," he said.

Yet, when accidents happen, a standard U-Haul defense is that the driver exceeded the 45-mph limit.

Failing to properly distribute the load in the trailer is another customer error often cited by U-Haul. A company manual once called it "sheer suicide!"

The safety guide tells customers to put 60% of the weight in the trailer's front half to promote stability. The instruction is underscored by a line inside the trailer. The guide describes a series of measurements to make sure the weight is distributed correctly.

A portable scale that could help renters ensure proper loading has long been available. U-Haul has used such a scale during accident investigations, but it does not offer one to customers to help prevent accidents.

Sherline Products Inc. of Vista, Calif., sells a portable trailer scale to farmers, ranchers and owners of recreational vehicles for $110.

Craig Libuse, the company's marketing director, said executives wrote to U-Haul in the mid-1990s offering to design a version that could be built into U-Haul trailers. Another option was for U-Haul to rent scales to customers.

Sherline said the scale's wholesale cost would be $55.

Libuse said U-Haul never responded. U-Haul said it had no record of the proposal. The company said a scale was unnecessary because its loading instructions had proved sufficient.

"There's no mystery to loading a trailer," Shoen said. "You need it heavier in front. It's just that simple."


When Brian Sternberg arrived at the hospital in Albuquerque, he didn't recognize his daughter.

Marissa had suffered numerous fractures, as well as heart and lung damage and a severe head injury. The cumulative trauma caused brain damage that became evident soon after the accident.

By the time her father saw her, she could no longer speak or move. Physicians put the odds against her survival at 200 to 1.

But Marissa held on. She spent four weeks in the trauma unit of the University of New Mexico Hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation center in Austin, Texas. Her mother, Lisa, spent eight months with her there.

Marissa's first word was: "Home." Since then, she has spoken only an occasional word.

The Sternbergs, who have long been prominent in Tucson philanthropic circles, built an airy, art-filled house for their daughter next to their own home in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Four caregivers tend to her around the clock.

"I'm looking to make her comfortable," said Brian, 48, who owns a wholesale food company with his brother.

After discovering that the nearest neurological rehabilitation center was more than 100 miles away in Phoenix, the Sternbergs funded construction of a state-of-the-art facility in Tucson.

The center has 100 patients and a staff of 10. Marissa, now 23, receives therapy there five days a week. She has made progress, but doctors have told the family the most they can expect is that Marissa will learn to "follow commands," her father said. He called this "the best case, and the worst case."

"It's not like tomorrow's going to be a different day," he said. "It's a dream we just haven't woken up from, a nightmare."

08-07-2007, 06:23 PM

mob roulette
08-07-2007, 06:44 PM

Didn't they try this already? What happened? I'd probably totally go to this, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Good catch, though. Thanks for sharing.

08-07-2007, 07:03 PM
"A proposed summer amphitheater tour by the group never got off the ground, with Eddie Van Halen entering a rehabilitation facility for undisclosed reasons in March."

08-08-2007, 08:14 AM

08-08-2007, 08:28 AM

08-08-2007, 08:57 AM

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky

(CNN) -- A girl's feet were cut off Thursday when a free-fall thrill ride malfunctioned at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park in Louisville, Kentucky, police said.

A cord wrapped around the 16-year-old's feet and severed them at her ankles while she was on the "Superman Tower of Power," a police dispatcher said. The girl was taken to a local hospital.

An unidentified witness told CNN affiliate WLKY she saw a cable on the ride snap.

"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

"That could have been all of us -- riding that ride," witness Whitney Sandfer told CNN affiliate WDRB/WMYO.

The incident took place shortly before 5 p.m. ET, according to Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg. The park remained open, but the ride in question was shut down and will remain so until the full investigation is complete, Goldberg said.

During the ride, passengers are lifted to 177 feet, suspended momentarily and then dropped, according to the park's Web site.

Passengers drop 154 feet at 54 mph, stopping "just 20 terrifying feet above the pavement," it adds.

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO.

"The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," Stinnett said.

The ride was introduced in 1995.

Wait....they have a 6 flags in Kentucky?

08-08-2007, 08:58 AM
"A proposed summer amphitheater tour by the group never got off the ground, with Eddie Van Halen entering a rehabilitation facility for undisclosed reasons in March."

$10 says the tour ends before it begins...Van Halen's ego is just too big...

08-08-2007, 09:00 AM
NEW YORK - A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said.

The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.

During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.

"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.

The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell, who didn't know how it skirted customs and security.

Airport police were waiting for the man and his monkey when the plane landed about 3 p.m., and the man was taken away for questioning. It was unclear whether he would face any criminal charges.

The city's animal control agency said the monkey appeared healthy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was planning to take it for disease testing and keep it quarantined for 31 days, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

If the monkey is healthy, it could wind up in a zoo.

"It is kind of a spirited monkey," Russell said. "That will be the nickname of the monkey: Spirit."

08-08-2007, 09:01 AM
NEW YORK - A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said.

The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.

During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.

"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.

The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell, who didn't know how it skirted customs and security.

Airport police were waiting for the man and his monkey when the plane landed about 3 p.m., and the man was taken away for questioning. It was unclear whether he would face any criminal charges.

The city's animal control agency said the monkey appeared healthy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was planning to take it for disease testing and keep it quarantined for 31 days, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

If the monkey is healthy, it could wind up in a zoo.

"It is kind of a spirited monkey," Russell said. "That will be the nickname of the monkey: Spirit."

I really thought he was just happy to see me. :)

08-08-2007, 07:17 PM

Alright, boys. When are we going to Sephora?

mob roulette
08-08-2007, 07:35 PM
I sense a trend here. But it's not your problem. It's mine. I am an anachronism. A virtual dinosaur. An evolutionary failure. Why don't I just lay down and die?

08-08-2007, 07:36 PM
Because you can't have a game show without a host.

mob roulette
08-08-2007, 07:37 PM
Thank you for that.

08-09-2007, 08:37 AM

Alright, boys. When are we going to Sephora?

Right after Burke Williams

08-09-2007, 09:49 AM
This guy is my new hero. Srsly. Check it out. (http://phoenixnewtimes.com/2007-08-09/news/the-yoda-of-9-11/)

08-09-2007, 09:52 AM
Van Halen to tour with David Lee Roth (http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2007/08/go_ahead_and_jump_van_halen_to.php)

too funny

08-09-2007, 09:58 AM
I am dog sitting for a friend for a while because he got called on this tour to do sound. I guess he will be there for the production part for a few weeks then have some time off before the tour starts.

08-09-2007, 10:43 AM
The feel-good story of the summer. (http://www.theonion.com/content/news/barry_bonds_home_run_scandal)

mob roulette
08-09-2007, 06:58 PM
I haven't really read any good articles today, but this is my new favorite sentence:

"Howell admits that he got so cold that he had to spoon Charlie Sheen, while Sheen tells of a moment where it got so cold during filming that Howell cried."

-From a review of the Red Dawn: Collector's Edition DVD

08-10-2007, 04:00 PM
Space hotel. This kind of thing excites me, although I don't have $4 mill to spend on it.


mob roulette
08-10-2007, 04:32 PM
Making the rounds today:

Coldplay Singer Gets Coldcocked

Cops nab Seattle woman after bizarre karaoke bar meltdown

AUGUST 10--A Washington man's karaoke performance of a Coldplay song apparently triggered a female bar patron to attack him early yesterday at a Seattle bar. According to a Seattle Police Department report, Lindsey Lawrence, 21, assaulted the unnamed victim while he was performing with "two other subjects" at Changes Tavern, where patrons sing karaoke Wednesday and Thursday night from 9 PM until 1 AM. When the assault victim launched into Coldplay's "Yellow," Lawrence allegedly told the man that his "singing sucked" and that the song "fucking sucked." She then grabbed at the man's microphone and "pushed him and punched him in order to get him to stop singing," cops reported. When employees escorted Lawrence from the bar, she "became very violent" and struck several other people (and was hostile towards police and fire department medics who responded to the scene). Lawrence was booked into the Seattle Correctional Facility, where she is currently being held on an investigation of an assault rap. It is unclear why Coldplay's music apparently made Lawrence snap, though a famous June 2005 New York Times appraisal by Jon Pareles may offer an insight. The critic called the British group "the most insufferable band of the decade," adding that, "the lyrics can make me wish I didn't understand English."

08-17-2007, 07:17 AM

full on idle
08-17-2007, 09:14 AM
I wonder which one will be the favorite.

psychic friend
08-17-2007, 10:03 AM
The RIAA has sent a new wave of 503 pre-litigation settlement letters to 58 universities on behalf of its record company members.



08-21-2007, 10:36 AM
Wal Mart to sell music downloads without DRM (http://www.azcentral.com/business/consumer/articles/0821biz-walmarttunes21-ON.html)

08-21-2007, 12:16 PM
Making the rounds today:

Coldplay Singer Gets Coldcocked

Cops nab Seattle woman after bizarre karaoke bar meltdown

AUGUST 10--A Washington man's karaoke performance of a Coldplay song apparently triggered a female bar patron to attack him early yesterday at a Seattle bar. According to a Seattle Police Department report, Lindsey Lawrence, 21, assaulted the unnamed victim while he was performing with "two other subjects" at Changes Tavern, where patrons sing karaoke Wednesday and Thursday night from 9 PM until 1 AM. When the assault victim launched into Coldplay's "Yellow," Lawrence allegedly told the man that his "singing sucked" and that the song "fucking sucked." She then grabbed at the man's microphone and "pushed him and punched him in order to get him to stop singing," cops reported. When employees escorted Lawrence from the bar, she "became very violent" and struck several other people (and was hostile towards police and fire department medics who responded to the scene). Lawrence was booked into the Seattle Correctional Facility, where she is currently being held on an investigation of an assault rap. It is unclear why Coldplay's music apparently made Lawrence snap, though a famous June 2005 New York Times appraisal by Jon Pareles may offer an insight. The critic called the British group "the most insufferable band of the decade," adding that, "the lyrics can make me wish I didn't understand English."

Please send her a pair of tickets for 08.

08-23-2007, 06:34 PM
Disneyland of the Past. (http://cityguides.msn.com/citylife/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5317443&GT1=10269) Some of these are just downright bizarre.

08-23-2007, 07:01 PM
House of the future actually looks like it would have been pretty cool.

08-23-2007, 07:18 PM
I'm pretty sure I saw a show about it when I was younger, on the disney channel. Stuff popping up out of the counter, shit like that. I remember being impressed and resentful because not even stains came out of my counters.

08-23-2007, 07:32 PM
I liked the Submarine Voyage. The Mission to Mars was so lame.

08-23-2007, 08:49 PM


Pete Doherty's Cats Test Positive for Cocaine
Posted Aug 23rd 2007 10:30AM by David Sprague
Filed under: News, Humor, Holy Hell

Given the fact that Pete Doherty has a lot on his professional plate -- what with gigs as a full-time pharmaceutical tester and part-time musician -- we're surprised that he's found the time to pursue the admirable hobby of myth-debunking. But we're happy to hear that he's started with a biggie -- that being trying to disprove the notion that cats have nine lives by turning one of his pet kittens into a crack addict.
Britain's Daily Star reports that Doherty's female cat Dinger -- Cockney slang for "syringe" -- gave birth to a litter of young 'uns, one of which turned up at a veterinarian's office feeling rather poorly. A few tests elicited a diagnosis that's pretty rare in the feline realm -- a copious amount of cocaine in the bloodstream. The RSPCA, which is said to have seized the animals in question, didn't specifically name Doherty in its tut-tutting statement on the incident, calling it "a police matter." Still, we can't help but think the Babyshambles dartboard on the wall of the animal group's local pub qualifies as a hint

08-24-2007, 09:11 AM
Pete Doherty is scum.

08-24-2007, 10:54 AM

psychic friend
08-24-2007, 11:10 AM
not really an article - fun at the hipster olympics


08-25-2007, 01:18 PM
Norm Chomsky and banana bread:)

08-26-2007, 09:28 AM
I just saw this. American Apparel replay, score!

08-26-2007, 10:05 PM
Report: Actor Owen Wilson in Suicide Try

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Actor Owen Wilson was taken to a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., Sunday, reportedly after attempting suicide.

Wilson was transported to St. John’s Hospital. Citing sources, The National Enquirer and Star magazine said the star of "Wedding Crashers" and "Starsky & Hutch" had cut his left wrist and taken an undetermined amount of pills.

He was found by a family member who called for help.

Santa Monica police confirmed only that the actor had been taken to a hospital, TMZ.com reported.

"On Sunday Aug. 26. 2007 at 12:10 pm officers from the Santa Monica Police Department responded to a medical assistance call from the Santa Monica Fire Department,” the police said in a news release. "The person was transported to a local hospital where they are being treated."

Citing medical privacy laws, the police did not release any further information.

The Enquirer said Wilson’s wrist was stitched and bandaged at the hospital, and that Wilson would “be detoxed.”

A call to Wilson's publicist was not immediately returned. TMZ said.

Source (http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Entertainment/2007/08/26/report_actor_owen_wilson_in_suicide_try/9736/)

08-27-2007, 07:21 AM
Math Whizzes at Conference Prove Just How Exciting The Tate Conjecture Can Be
August 1, 2007; Page B4

One is tempted to feel sorry for mathematicians. In contrast to, say, physicists, mathematicians don't have their own Nobel Prize; they rarely get hired by hedge funds; they don't have grand toys like particle accelerators to play with; and their work is usually so recondite that not even their families understand it.

But save your pity, as this crowd has a blast doing what it does. How else can you explain 30 or so renowned mathematicians spending all of last week sitting happily in barely comfortable chairs inside a joyless conference room working 9-to-5 on a dense math problem, without stopping so much as to check their BlackBerrys?

The scene was in Palo Alto, Calif., at a workshop sponsored by the American Institute of Mathematics. The institute is funded by in large part by John Fry, the owner of a chain of computer and electronics stores. Mr. Fry is a math buff, but also something of a Thomas Pynchon figure, in that he declines all requests for interviews. Among its activities, the institute sponsors weeklong workshops on important math problems that are designed to allow for more give-and-take than occurs at traditional academic conferences.

The topic of last week's workshop was the Tate Conjecture put forward in the 1960s by John Tate, a famed American mathematician who, now 82 years old, was in attendance front and center. His conjecture is closely connected with the Hodge Conjecture, one of the seven well-publicized math problems for which the Clay Mathematics Institute, founded by another rich American businessman, is offering a $1 million prize apiece to solve.

There is enough of a link between Tate and Hodge that Dinakar Ramakrishnan of CalTech, who along with USC's Wayne Raskind planned the conference, joked that the person solving Tate should get $500,000.

Mathematicians are slightly sensitive about their reputation as loners. But not only were the ones in attendance last week well-socialized, they also told some good jokes at their own expense. For example, how can you spot the extroverted mathematician? He's the one staring at the other person's shoes.
And while their shop talk had a tendency to begin with phrases like, "Fix a set, S, such that ... " they also worried as much as anyone else about prosaic matters, like what gifts to take home afterward for the kids.

So, what exactly is the Tate Conjecture? Unfortunately, even for a layperson who keeps up with math -- who recognizes names like Fermat, Riemann and Poincaré -- math at this level is all but impossible to grasp. The author of a book on the Clay prizes suggested that confused lay readers just skip the chapter on Hodge.

One explanation of it is to say that mathematicians often find it useful to study the solution to a complicated equation by transforming it into a shape. The Tate Conjecture provides guidance on how closely that shape corresponds to the numbers in the original solution. To someone who knows the field, though, that's about as useful as explaining baseball by saying it involves a bat and a round object.

In addition to "What is it?" the other question for which mathematicians are braced, but which they also usually don't enjoy answering, is "What's the practical application?"

In truth, many mathematicians like to work on things simply because they find them interesting. Having said that, the field has a pretty good track record over the centuries for being useful.

In this vein, it is fitting that the institute's current headquarters is in a building that also houses one of Mr. Fry's computer stores. Take a tour of the store with a mathematician like Steven G. Krantz, the institute's deputy director, and you embark on a history of math through the prism of Silicon Valley technologies. The aisles of CDs and DVDs, for instance, lead to the tale of Joseph Fourier, the 19th-century French mathematician whose ideas about modeling the spread of heat would one day lead to digital music and movies.

Over the five days of the conference last week, the mathematicians did what people do at most any workshop. They listened to presentations, broke up into small groups, gossiped over drinks before dinner, took a group picture and celebrated with a banquet at a local Chinese restaurant.

In the end, they didn't prove or disprove the Tate Conjecture. But no one was expecting them to, because a solution might not arise for many years. Despite nearly 24 centuries of trying, mathematicians still don't know the truth or falsehood of the Twin Prime Conjecture, which holds that there are infinitely many prime numbers that, such as 5 and 7 or 41 and 43, are two apart.

Progress, though, was made. V. Kumar Murty, of the University of Toronto, said that as a result of the sessions, he'd be pursuing a new line of attack on Tate. It makes use of ideas of the J.S. Milne of Michigan, who was also in attendance, and involves Abelian varieties over finite fields, in case you want to get started yourself.

Alternately, you might simply want to mull another mathematician joke, this one courtesy of some number theorists. What should you do if you meet a tiger in the forest? Nothing; the tiger will do everything himself.

Email me at Lee.Gomes@wsj.com.

that tiger joke rules.

08-27-2007, 07:28 AM
that tiger joke rules.

i love jokes like that.

08-28-2007, 08:41 AM
Greg do you ever swim in this lake (http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/magazine/15-09/ff_lagoon)? It's is sort of long, but it is pretty cool and interesting.

08-28-2007, 04:41 PM

Burning Man's icon goes up in flames, 4 days prematurely

(08-28) 11:27 PDT BLACK ROCK DESERT, NEV. - A San Francisco man was arrested on felony arson charges today after the 40-foot-tall "Man" statue whose torching is the annual highlight of the Burning Man festival in Nevada went up in flames four days early, authorities said.

Paul Addis, 35, of San Francisco, was booked into the Pershing County Jail in Nevada on the arson charge and misdemeanor possession of fireworks, Sheriff Ron Skinner said.

Festival organizers, meanwhile, pondered the smoldering remains of the Man and promised to rebuild the big guy in time for Saturday's regularly scheduled burn in the Black Rock Desert north of Reno.

"The Man is still standing, and an assessment is under way to determine the structural integrity of the Man and the Green Man Pavilion," according to a statement posted today at www.burningman.com. "The event will continue as scheduled."

Jamie Thompson, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Land Management, which manages the land where the event is held, said the platform and material around the statue was intact.

Some 40,000 people are expected to gather in the desert by this weekend for Burning Man, and Thompson said about 15,000 revelers are already at the festival site. Many were on the playa early this morning watching the lunar eclipse when the fire ignited at 2:58 a.m., according to Burning Man organizers.

Thousands of festival-goers streamed out onto the playa from the surrounding Black Rock City encampment to view the spectacle, witnesses said. Black Rock City rangers rushed to the scene and doused the conflagration within about 25 minutes.

Reactions ranged from amusement and support to frustration and anger.

"I am disturbed that the Man is burnt. As I looked at it, I was going, 'This can't be happening,' " said Bob Harms of South Lake Tahoe, a seven-time burner.

Kyle Marx of Eugene, Ore., said the fire started from the Man's left leg and spread to engulf nearly his entire body.

"Some people were chanting, 'Let him burn, let him burn!' and some were chanting, 'Save the man, save the man!' " Marx said.

Several people were seen clambering up the tower of logs below the statue's platform base shortly before the fire began.

"Someone went to a great extent to interfere with everyone else's burn. I think, frankly, an attention whore has made a plea for attention," said a Burning Man volunteer named Ranger Sasquatch. "In three days, we will have this rebuilt."

A festival-goer who identified herself as simply Erica said she and her friends were "upset by the fact that someone would take this away from everybody who comes to the event just to see the man burn. To try to sabotage him is completely wrong. We wait all year long. This is an adult's Christmas party."

08-31-2007, 09:42 AM
Nazi's out of Knoxville!
featured image
Wife Power!
Knoxville rejects Nazis and Klan.

Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes. http://www.volunteertv.com/special
Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.
Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns. http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headlines/7704982.html
“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.
At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”
The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”
It was at this point that several observers reported seeing several Klan members heads exploding in rage and they stopped trying to explain to the clowns what they wanted.
Apparently the clowns fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the rally, they believed it was a clown rally and came in force to support their pointy hated brethren. To their dismay, despite their best jokes and stunts and pratfalls the Nazis and Klan refused to laugh, and indeed became enraged at the clowns misunderstanding and constant attempts to interpret the clowns instruction.
The clowns on the other hand had a great time and thought the Nazis were the funniest thing they had ever seen and the loud laughter of over 100 counter protesters greeted every attempt of the Nazis and Klan to get their message out, whatever that was.
Many of the local Knoxvillians that came to counter demonstrate had no illusions about why these out of state bad clowns with swastikas were doing in their town.
Were just a few of the chants that the non clown counter protesters rained down upon the Nazis. The clowns interacted with the non clown protesters with glee and even participated in a chant or two, though apparently with no idea that the Nazis were indeed not clowns thinking it was just part of the show.
In the end the 20 or so sad VNNers left with their tails between their legs. At this point over 150 counter demonstraters were present. The clowns seeing how dejected and sad the Nazi’s looked began singing to cheer them up.
“hey hey hey hey, ho ho ho ho—good bye, good bye” everyone sang waving their arms in the air in unison.
After the VNNers left in their shiny SUVs to go back to Alabama and all the other states that they were from the clowns and counter demonstrators began to march out of the area chanting ‘WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!”
But the cops stopped the clowns and counter protestors. “Hey, do you want an escort” an African-American police officer on a motorcycle asked. “Yes” a clown replied. “We are walking to Market Square in the center of town to celebrate.”
The police officers got in front of the now anti racist parade and blocked the entire road for the march through the heart of Knoxville. An event called imagination station was taking place and over 15,000 thousand students and their parents were in town that weekend. Many of them cheered as the clowns, Knoxvillians and counter protestors marched through the heart of Knoxville singing and laughing at the end of the Nazi’s first attempt at having a rally in Knoxville.

08-31-2007, 09:59 AM

08-31-2007, 10:01 AM
hahahaha I call bs but its lol goodtimes.

08-31-2007, 11:02 AM
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070827/capt.a6f25f89000644d9b119237e769e20a9.burning_man_ nvcap102.jpg

09-04-2007, 05:29 PM
I know I'm way late in the game with this one, but gridskipper (http://www.gridskipper.com) is becoming one of my favorite websites.

Check out this article (http://gridskipper.com/travel/los-angeles/la-farmers-markets-286880.php) comparing all of Los Angeles' farmers markets.

09-05-2007, 12:06 PM
Bob dylan wants to fuck your face.


09-10-2007, 12:14 AM

UNION CITY, Ga. - A McDonald's employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal charges because a police officer's burger was too salty, so salty that he says it made him sick.

Kendra Bull was arrested Friday, charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and freed on $1,000 bail.

Bull, 20, said she accidentally spilled salt on hamburger meat and told her supervisor and a co-worker, who "tried to thump the salt off."

On her break, she ate a burger made with the salty meat. "It didn't make me sick," Bull told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

But then Police Officer Wendell Adams got a burger made with the oversalted meat, and he returned a short time later and told the manager it made him sick.

Bull admitted spilling salt on the meat, and Adams took her outside and questioned her, she said.

"If it was too salty, why did (Adams) not take one bite and throw it away?" said Bull, who has worked at the restaurant for five months. She said she didn't know a police officer got one of the salty burgers because she couldn't see the drive-through window from her work area.

Police said samples of the burger were sent to the state crime lab for tests.

City public information officer George Louth said Bull was charged because she served the burger "without regards to the well-being of anyone who might consume it."

09-10-2007, 12:36 AM
Police said samples of the burger were sent to the state crime lab for tests.

cops are fucking stupid...

09-14-2007, 12:50 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines man was charged with domestic assault Sunday after throwing a bag of Cheetos at his father.

Twenty-two-year-old Patrick Hamman was arrested after the bag of cheesy chips hit his father, Michael Hamman, in the face.

Police said the bag hit his father's glasses, causing a cut to the bridge of his nose.

The police report said — quote— "Michael's T-shirt was also covered in Cheeto dust."

Police said Patrick, who lives with his father, admitted that he was on methamphetamine at the time of the argument.

09-14-2007, 01:00 AM
Meth? Sounds more like HGH if he could throw that hard...

09-14-2007, 08:50 AM
He has to be the luckiest black man alive if hes not found guilty of this.

(CNN) -- Former college and NFL star running back O.J. Simpson has been questioned as a possible suspect in an alleged theft, a Las Vegas, Nevada, police spokesman said Friday.

Police say O.J. Simpson has been questioned as a possible suspect in an alleged theft at a casino.

Sgt. John Loretto of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said there was an allegation of a theft, "involving Simpson as a suspect."

"We're waiting right now to see if we can put together a press conference," Loretto told CNN. "We haven't arrested him or anything else; the investigation is very preliminary right now."

Asked whether Simpson is a suspect, the officer replied, "It is an alleged theft, and he is an alleged suspect."

CNN affiliate KVBC-TV in Las Vegas said the matter involved allegations of robbery at Palace Station Hotel and Casino.

Simpson was acquitted in the June 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The two were stabbed to death outside her Brentwood, California, home.

The former football star was arrested soon after the killings but maintained he was "absolutely, 100 percent, not guilty."

09-16-2007, 07:54 PM
Sat Sep 15, 8:03 PM ET

DEAR ABBY: I am begging you to have a medical health professional address this problem.

We were at a music festival last night, and sitting near us in front of the amplifier was a young mother with an infant who appeared to be about 5 weeks old. She was there for five hours!

I voiced my concern to a woman with her who said, "You can't tell her anything." I then spoke to a security guard, asking him to suggest that she move to the rear, away from those killer sound systems. No luck.

I'm ashamed to say that I did not go up and tell her to get away and save her child's poor little ears. So, I am begging you to print something about destroying children's hearing. I know some adults are plain stupid in this matter, but that infant had no choice. -- EXASPERATED IN WILKES-BARRE, PA.

DEAR EXASPERATED: I took your letter to Dr. Allen Senne, director of audiology at the famous House Ear Clinic. This is what he had to say, and I hope parents will heed it:

"Any noise in excess of 85 decibels -- that's about as loud as a power lawn mower -- is damaging to the human ear. That's why OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines prohibit workers from working in areas where they're exposed to noise greater than 85 decibels for an extended period of time.

"Children are at least as susceptible to the effects of noise exposure as adults. In fact, professionals in the field of audiology are now seeing an increase in the incidence of younger people demonstrating hearing loss due to noise exposure from listening to iPods, Walkmans and other in-ear receivers because the digital sound produced by these devices can be played at louder levels without distortion.

"A typical music concert is amplified 110 to 120 decibels, which is significantly beyond any damage risk criteria, and has the potential for causing irreversible hearing problems. THIS CAN BE THE RESULT OF A ONE-TIME EXPOSURE.

"In fact, I recently treated a boy from Texas who had lost his hearing in one ear because he wanted to be close to the music and stood directly in front of an amplifier at a rock concert. That was a one-time exposure, so draw your own conclusions."


09-16-2007, 08:03 PM
To continue the rock music theme here, Disney apprently doesnt like metal.


Heavy metal concerts moved off Disney property

By Greg Burk, Special to The Times
September 15, 2007
Metal detectors may soon be irrelevant at House of Blues clubs, at least any sitting on property owned by the Walt Disney Co. Five heavy-metal concerts scheduled on Disney property in Anaheim and Orlando have been hastily shifted to other venues or canceled recently, according to House of Blues website calendars.

A Sept. 7 show featuring Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Throwdown and Sanctity, booked two months earlier, was moved on two days' notice from the House of Blues in Anaheim's Downtown Disney entertainment complex to the Glass House in Pomona. Thursday's concert with Cannibal Corpse, the Black Dahlia Murder, the Red Chord and the Absence, originally slated for the Anaheim House of Blues, was moved to the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana. A Sept. 26 Anaheim House of Blues concert featuring Obituary, Alabama Thunderpussy, Full Blown Chaos and Hemlock has been canceled outright.

At the House of Blues in Orlando, Fla., on Disney World property, a Sept. 17 concert of the Machine Head lineup has been moved to Club Firestone in downtown Orlando. The same action has been taken with the Oct. 11 Cannibal Corpse package.

Asked about the scheduling changes, John Vlautin, vice president of communications for Live Nation (formerly Clear Channel), the concert-promotion organization that owns the nationwide House of Blues chain, issued a statement Thursday that said only: "House of Blues offers a range of entertainment to match the audience at our venues. It was determined that the mix of entertainment at our two Disney locations should be different from our other venues."

Vlautin declined to comment on why metal bands have been singled out after years of similar bookings or whether other metal events already scheduled, including Suffocation, Edguy and Static X, will be affected.

Rob Doughty, communications vice president for Disneyland Resorts, declined to comment, referring inquiries to Vlautin. Paul McGuigan, concert promoter at the Anaheim House of Blues, also declined to comment through a club spokeswoman.

The Walt Disney Co., through Vlautin, issued a short statement Thursday that included no specifics about the shifts of the metal concerts: "In consultation with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the House of Blues will provide a mix of entertainment for guests visiting Disney Resorts."

Rob Flynn, vocalist and guitarist of Machine Head, expressed surprise about the venue change, saying in a phone interview that the group had played both clubs several times without incident. He said he had been told that Disney pressured House of Blues to evict metal on the grounds that it attracted an "undesirable" element; he also said he suspects that "one of the main issues of contention Disney had with Machine Head was our antiwar and anti-administration lyrics."

A sample lyric from the Bay Area quartet's current recording, "The Blackening," goes, "Murder us, silence us, / Divide and conquer us."

The veteran Cannibal Corpse, which headlines the touring Metal Blade Records bill that was removed from the Anaheim and Orlando House of Blues calendars, is known for its extreme album-cover artwork and death-obsessed lyrics such as "Pray to our God / With blood we praise his epic acts of hate," from last year's "Kill" collection. Many modern metal bands express an antiwar, anti-authority and/or anti-religion message.

John Halperin, talent booker for the Glass House, said Friday that the Machine Head show transferred to his venue came off to the satisfaction of bands and fans, despite the fact that it is an all-ages club where no alcohol is sold.

09-17-2007, 09:34 AM
CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy.


Carlos Camejo, 33, was declared dead after a highway accident and taken to the morgue, where examiners began an autopsy only to realize something was amiss when he started bleeding. They quickly sought to stitch up the incision on his face.

"I woke up because the pain was unbearable," Camejo said, according to a report on Friday in leading local newspaper El Universal.

His grieving wife turned up at the morgue to identify her husband's body only to find him moved into a corridor -- and alive.

Reuters could not immediately reach hospital officials to confirm the events. But Camejo showed the newspaper his facial scar and a document ordering the autopsy

09-18-2007, 10:09 AM
It took them long enough. Im sure the kick backs and bribes were not enough. There will be another contractor to pick right up where they left off.


10-02-2007, 08:46 AM


10-02-2007, 09:38 AM

Yeah Im on wired today.....this shit freaks me out.

10-07-2007, 07:53 PM
Off-duty Wisconsin sheriff deputy kills six. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071008/ap_on_re_us/wisconsin_shooting)

10-07-2007, 08:54 PM
Off-duty Wisconsin sheriff deputy kills six. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071008/ap_on_re_us/wisconsin_shooting)

those people in Wisconsin sure do love their Packers.

10-20-2007, 01:10 PM
Crime in Japan sparks new fashion trends (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/20/world/asia/20japan.html?ex=1193544000&en=b5bae1fc6c19f97a&ei=5070&emc=eta1)

10-20-2007, 02:39 PM

DENNIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A second-grader's drawing of a stick figure shooting a gun earned him a one-day school suspension.

Kyle Walker, 7, was suspended last week for violating Dennis Township Primary School's zero-tolerance policy on guns, the boy's mother, Shirley McDevitt, told The Press of Atlantic City.

Kyle gave the picture to another child on the school bus, and that child's parents complained about it to school officials, McDevitt said. Her son told her the drawing was of a water gun, she said.

A photocopy of the picture provided by McDevitt showed two stick figures with one pointing a crude-looking gun at the other, the newspaper said. What appeared to be the word "me" was written above the shooter, with another name scribbled above the other figure.

School officials declined to comment Friday. A message left at the superintendent's office Saturday was not returned.

Kyle drew other pictures, including a skateboarder, King Tut, a ghost, a tree, and a Cyclops, the newspaper reported.

10-23-2007, 07:02 AM
Looking for attractive people? Don't go to... Mon Oct 22, 10:55 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Philadelphia is home to the least attractive people in the United States, a survey of visitors and residents showed on Friday.

The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the "America's Favorite Cities" survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News.

About 60,000 people responded to the online survey -- at www.travelandleisure.com -- which ranked 25 cities in categories including shopping, food, culture, and cityscape, said Amy Farley, senior editor at the magazine.

For unattractiveness, Philadelphia just beat out Washington DC and Dallas/Fort Worth for the bottom spot. Miami and San Diego are home to the most attractive people, the poll found.

But Farley pointed out the results don't mean people in Philadelphia are ugly or the city is a bad place to visit.

"We were asking people to vote on attractiveness, not unattractiveness. Travel & Leisure editors believe there are a lot of attractive people in Philadelphia," she said.

"The relative attractiveness of its residents is only a minuscule factor in evaluating a city's merit."

Philadelphians' self-esteem has been undermined by national surveys showing they are among the fattest people in the United States. The American Obesity Association ranked the city in the top 10 for overweight people every year between 2000 and 2005.

And sporting pride in a city known for the fierce loyalty of its fans has been hurt by not having had a national champion in any of its four main sports since the 76ers won the National Basketball Association title in 1983.

10-23-2007, 02:02 PM
James Lipton: Pimp (http://www.abcactionnews.com/entertainment/story.aspx?content_id=0b3e52fa-dbd2-4d4d-a2fe-195173ea65e5)

James Lipton, the host of U.S. talk show, Inside the Actors' Studio, once worked as a pimp in Paris, France.

The revered TV presenter, who has sat down with Hollywood's biggest names for in-depth chats about their life and work over the last 13 years, has revealed he once procured clients for French hookers.

He says, "This was when I was very very young, living in Paris, penniless, unable to get any kind of working permit... I had a friend who worked in what is called the Milieu, which is that world and she suggested to me one night, `Look, you'll be my mec... We would translate it perhaps... as pimp.

"We were earning our living together, this young woman and I, we made a rather good living, I must say."

Lipton reveals in his new book Inside Inside he would set up sex shows for clients of his lady friend.

He adds, "I had to accompany my clientelle to the Rue Pigalle, which is where these things occurred. And then I'd take them up to the room and I had to remain there because they were very nervous, they were young Americans for the most part... and they didn't speak French."

I love James Lipton. Inside is one of my favourite shows.

10-29-2007, 12:32 PM
Vinyl May Be Final Nail in CD's Coffin
By Eliot Van Buskirk Email 10.29.07 | 12:00 AM

As counterintuitive as it may seem in this age of iPods and digital downloads, vinyl -- the favorite physical format of indie music collectors and audiophiles -- is poised to re-enter the mainstream, or at least become a major tributary.

Talk to almost anyone in the music business' vital indie and DJ scenes and you'll encounter a uniformly optimistic picture of the vinyl market.

"I'm hearing from labels and distributors that vinyl is way up," said Ian Connelly, client relations manager of independent distributor alliance IODA, in an e-mail interview. "And not just the boutique, limited-edition colored vinyl that Jesu/Isis-style fans are hot for right now."

Pressing plants are ramping up production, but where is the demand coming from? Why do so many people still love vinyl, even though its bulky, analog nature is anathema to everything music is supposed to be these days? Records, the vinyl evangelists will tell you, provide more of a connection between fans and artists. And many of today's music fans buy 180-gram vinyl LPs for home listening and MP3s for their portable devices.

"For many of us, and certainly for many of our artists, the vinyl is the true version of the release," said Matador's Patrick Amory. "The size and presence of the artwork, the division into sides, the better sound quality, above all the involvement and work the listener has to put in, all make it the format of choice for people who really care about music."

Because these music fans also listen using portable players and computers, Matador and other labels include coupons in record packaging that can be used to download MP3 versions of the songs. Amory called the coupon program "hugely popular."

Portability is no longer any reason to stick with CDs, and neither is audio quality. Although vinyl purists are ripe for parody, they're right about one thing: Records can sound better than CDs.

Although CDs have a wider dynamic range, mastering houses are often encouraged to compress the audio on CDs to make it as loud as possible: It's the so-called loudness war. Since the audio on vinyl can't be compressed to such extremes, records generally offer a more nuanced sound.

Another reason for vinyl's sonic superiority is that no matter how high a sampling rate is, it can never contain all of the data present in an analog groove, Nyquist's theorem to the contrary.

"The digital world will never get there," said Chris Ashworth, owner of United Record Pressing, the country's largest record pressing plant.

Golden-eared audiophiles have long testified to vinyl's warmer, richer sound. And now demand for vinyl is on the rise. Pressing plants that were already at capacity are staying there, while others are cranking out more records than they did last year in order to keep pace with demand.

Don MacInnis, owner of Record Technology in Camarillo, California, predicts production will be up 25 percent over last year by the end of 2007. And he's not talking about small runs of dance music for DJs, but the whole gamut of music: "new albums, reissues, majors and indies ... jazz, blues, classical, pop and a lot of (classic) rock."

Turntables are hot again as well. Insound, an online music retailer that recently began selling USB turntables alongside vinyl, can't keep them in stock, according to the company's director, Patrick McNamara.

And on Oct. 17, Amazon.com launched a vinyl-only section stocked with a growing collection of titles and several models of record players.

Big labels still aren't buying the vinyl comeback, but it wouldn't be the first time the industry failed to identify a new trend in the music biz.

"Our numbers, at least, don't really point to a resurgence," said Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America's director of communications. Likewise, Nielsen SoundScan, which registered a slight increase in vinyl sales last year, nonetheless showed a 43 percent decrease between 2000 and 2006.

But when it comes to vinyl, these organizations don't really know what they're talking about. The RIAA's numbers are misleading because its member labels are only now beginning to react to the growing demand for vinyl. As for SoundScan, its numbers don't include many of the small indie and dance shops where records are sold. More importantly, neither organization tracks used records sold at stores or on eBay -- arguably the central clearinghouse for vinyl worldwide.

Vinyl's popularity has been underreported before.

"The Consumer Electronics Association said that only 100,000 turntables were sold in 2004. Numark alone sold more than that to pro DJs that year," said Chris Roman, product manager for Numark.

And the vinyl-MP3 tag team might just hasten the long-predicted death of the CD.

San Francisco indie band The Society of Rockets, for example, plans to release its next album strictly on vinyl and as MP3 files.

"Having just gone through the process of mastering our new album for digital and for vinyl, I can say it is completely amazing how different they really sound," said lead singer and guitarist Joshua Babcock in an e-mail interview. "The way the vinyl is so much better and warmer and more interesting to listen to is a wonder."

10-29-2007, 07:46 PM
Fuck you Earth. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/19/SS6JS8RH0.DTL)

10-30-2007, 09:54 AM
From boingboing.net


A MadCowMorningNews investigation has uncovered links between the ownership of the drug-running Gulfstream (Cocaine Two) and the other American-registered plane busted carrying a multi-ton load of cocaine in Mexico recently, the DC9 (Cocaine One) airliner caught with 5.5 tons of cocaine in Mexico 18 months ago.

Recently-released FAA records from the Gulfstream II business jet that went down in Mexico a month ago with four tons of cocaine reveal that before it was “parked” in the name of a New York real estate developer with ties to the Russian Mob, the plane was owned by a secretive Midwestern media baron and Republican fund-raiser, who had a business partner who, incredibly, owned the other American drug plane, the DC9, recently busted in Mexico.

Adams was in business with Miami attorney Michael Farkas, who founded SkyWay Aircraft, which owned the DC9 busted in Mexico 18 months ago with 5.5 tons of cocaine aboard.

Moreover at the same time the Bush Ranger extraordinaire Stephen Adams owned the Gulfstream (N987SA) in 1999 and 2000, he was personally buying over $1 million of billboard ads for George W. Bush for his 2000 Presidential election bid.

11-01-2007, 08:19 AM
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A Republican state legislator who repeatedly voted against gay rights measures resigned his seat Wednesday amid revelations he had sex with a man he met at an erotic video store while in Spokane on a GOP retreat.

In a written statement, Rep. Richard Curtis, of La Center, said that while he believes he's done a lot of good during his time in the Legislature, "events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people."

"I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused," he wrote. "This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office."

Three days earlier, Curtis had insisted to his local newspaper that he was not gay and that sex was not involved in what he said was an extortion attempt by a man last week.

VIDEO: Wash. Lawmaker Denies Sex With Man

But in police reports, Curtis said he was being extorted by a man he had sex with in a Spokane hotel room. The other man contends Curtis reneged on a promise to pay $1,000 for sex.

House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, said that as more "troubling" details began to emerge "it has become clear that he can no longer effectively represent the constituents who elected him."

His resignation was delivered to Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday afternoon. A Republican successor will be chosen by county Republican leaders, and will serve until the 2008 election.

Numerous efforts to reach Curtis or his lawyer, John Wolfe, by phone have been unsuccessful.

Curtis, 48, told police he was the victim of an extortion attempt by Cody Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel on Oct. 26, search warrant documents said. Castagna, 26, of nearby Medical Lake, told police that Curtis had agreed to pay him for sex, then reneged.

Curtis is married and has children, according to his legislative Web site. Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, he voted in 2005 and 2006 against a bill that granted civil rights protections to gays and lesbians, and in 2007 voted against a bill that created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Both measures eventually passed the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and are now state law.

Curtis was among state GOP lawmakers in Spokane Oct. 24-26 for a retreat to discuss the upcoming legislative session. He went to the Hollywood Erotic Boutique early on Oct. 26 and met Castagna, who accompanied him to the hotel, police documents said.

The two arrived at the hotel around 3:30 a.m. and had sex, after which Curtis fell asleep, according to documents released Tuesday.

Curtis alleged Castagna took his wallet and later offered to return it for $1,000. Curtis said he only had $200 and left an envelope with the money at the hotel desk, the documents said.

Police reports said Castagna allegedly called Curtis and demanded an additional $800, and threatened to expose Curtis. But Curtis had already contacted police, who listened to the call and then met with Castagna.

There have been no arrests in the case. On Wednesday, Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Larry Steinmetz said a decision about possible criminal charges in the alleged extortion case was weeks away.

Castagna, who appeared Tuesday at a Spokane news conference with his lawyer, David Partovi, said Curtis gave him his wallet to hold as collateral "for the money that he promised me." Partovi refused to let his client tell reporters what he did for the money, noting Castagna had already spoken voluntarily with police.

"Cody Castagna admitted threatening to publicly expose Richard Curtis' gay lifestyle to his wife unless Richard Curtis provided the disputed money," the police documents said.

Partovi refused to let Castagna respond to a question about whether he threatened to "out" Curtis.

The lawyer noted extortion "is a violent Class B felony" and declared that his client "didn't do anything wrong, at that level anyway."

On Monday, Curtis told The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver, Wash., that he did not solicit sex.

"I committed no crime," he said. "I did not solicit sex. I was trying to help somebody out."

Curtis, a former firefighter, declared, "I am not gay."

In his initial statement to Spokane police on Oct. 26, Curtis admitted having sex with Castagna, but said he did not offer to pay for sex. He said he gave him $100 as gas money, but said he did not consider that paying for sex, according to the police reports.

Police reports said Curtis initially contacted a friend in the Washington State Patrol, in Western Washington, to investigate the case because he feared the Spokane authorities would talk to the media. But patrol officials referred the case to Spokane police.

The police reports added that Curtis told officers he only wanted his wallet back "and wanted to keep the incident as low key as possible." He did not want to pursue charges against Castagna, the report said.

The next day, police reports said, Curtis told a detective by phone that he was in Cle Elum because he had wrecked his car on the drive home.

Curtis also told the detective he "would have to tell his wife the truth and he would have to get a divorce attorney."

11-01-2007, 03:04 PM
NICE! Dude beat up two cops and was justified by the court. Score!


Homeowner had 'a right to resist'
Judge acquits John Coffin on 5 felony charges; Coffin gets time served on 6th.



SARASOTA -- John Coffin won't spend any more time in jail for beating up two sheriff's deputies inside his house, striking one in the head with a Taser gun he took from the other.

Circuit Judge Rick De Furia said at Coffin's trial Tuesday that he doesn't condone the violence against the deputies.

But Coffin, 56, had a right to defend his family and property because the deputies had no right to be in Coffin's house in the first place, De Furia said.

"Law enforcement was responsible for the chain of events here," De Furia said. "I think in situations like this, officers become so frustrated they go beyond what the law allows them to do."

The fight started when Coffin heard his wife screaming in pain, went into the garage and saw two deputies arresting her on the floor.

The deputies were trying to serve Coffin with civil papers that had been given five days earlier. They had entered the garage even though they did not have a search warrant or arrest warrant.

And they arrested Coffin's wife, Cynthia, 50, on obstruction charges even though she had no obligation to follow their orders to bring her husband outside.

"The most critical is the fact the officers broke the law by stopping the garage door from going down," and then entering the garage, De Furia said.

A jury was picked for the trial Monday. But the judge granted a motion by Coffin's attorneys, Derek Byrd and Brett McIntosh, and acquitted John Coffin on five of six felony charges Tuesday morning.

Coffin pleaded no contest to the remaining charge of taking a Taser gun from one of the deputies during the fight.

Before handing down the sentence, De Furia asked how long Coffin spent in jail after his initial arrest.

"You spent eight days in the Sarasota County jail," De Furia said. "That's your sentence. No probation."

Relatives applauded, and Coffin walked out of the courthouse with only a $358 bill for court costs. The sentence surprised even defense attorneys, who had suggested De Furia sentence Coffin to probation.

Prosecutors had asked for more than a year of prison time because of "the totality of the case" and the injuries to deputies James Lutz and Stacy Ferris, whose name is now Stacy Brandau.

The two deputies testified about their injuries Tuesday -- three blows to the head with the butt of the Taser gun knocked Lutz unconscious.

"I just ask that he doesn't get away with this," Brandau told the judge.

Assistant State Attorney Jeff Young told the judge the case "could have been over in five seconds" if the Coffins "had simply come out and cooperated."

"That is a man who took it upon himself to beat up two police officers," Young said.

De Furia said that while he believed the deputies' mistakes were not intentional, the Coffins had every right to lock doors, try to close their garage door and not cooperate.

"What took place in the house was unfortunate," De Furia said, "but Mr. Coffin ... had a right to resist."

Wheres the beef?
11-01-2007, 03:31 PM
NICE! Dude beat up two cops and was justified by the court. Score!


Fuck yes!

11-08-2007, 02:55 PM
I am bumping this thread to remind people it exists, if they want to post a link to an article but maybe don't want to clutter up the board with a million new threads.

11-16-2007, 04:26 PM

Georgia ends state of emergency
Mikhail Saakashvili 16-11-07
Mr Saakashvili says he wants a fresh start
Georgia has lifted the state of emergency it imposed nine days ago amid a wave of opposition protests.

An interior ministry spokesman said the situation was "back to normal".

The move came as President Mikhail Saakashvili announced he was replacing PM Zurab Noghaideli, and appointing Lado Gurgenidze, a banker, to the post.

Mr Saakashvili accused Russia of inciting the recent unrest to oust him. Both Moscow and the opposition in Georgia deny the allegations.

The crackdown on protests drew international criticism of the pro-Western leader who has met a key opposition demand for early elections.

New blood

Announcing the change of prime ministers, Mr Saakashvili said in a televised address: "We are putting forward new tasks that must be implemented by new people."

His new PM, the 36-year-old Mr Gurgenidze, is chairman of the private Bank of Georgia.

Opposition supporters had called on Mr Saakashvili to resign, accusing him of corruption and authoritarianism.

The protests earlier this month were the largest Georgia has seen since the "Rose Revolution" that brought Mr Saakashvili to power in 2003.

The early election has been set for 5 January.

12-02-2007, 09:31 PM
Can you imagine that something like this is happening on the internet?

Online bullying a growing part of US teen Internet life by Glenn Chapman
Sun Dec 2, 4:10 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - US researchers warn that bullies are taking their hurtful ways from real-world schoolyards to the "cyber" world by targeting teens with nasty e-mail, text messaging, and online chat.

The number of children ages 10 to 17 that say they were abused by "cyber bullies" climbed 50 percent, from six percent in 2000 to nine percent in 2005, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"One thing that stands out is that aggression perpetuated with technology goes far beyond cyber bullying," said Corrine Ferdon, one of the authors of the CDC report on "electronic aggression and youth violence."

"Technology is constantly evolving and if we focus on the Internet we will miss the show."

Instant messaging, including text messages sent to mobile telephones, is the most common way to send taunts, teases, threats, insults or other bullying messages, according to report co-author Marci Hertz.

Unlike in schoolyards where bullies have to face victims, the Internet lets abusers remain anonymous, Hertz said.

The majority of the self-described victims in the study said they didn't know who the "cyber bullies" were, Hertz told AFP.

"In the schoolyard you could defend yourself by speaking back but it is a completely different dynamic online," Hertz said.

"Some kids might be able to shrug it off, turn off the computer and move on. But some kids are more fragile."

A 13-year-old Missouri girl hanged herself with a belt in November after exchanging insults via her profile page at MySpace.com with a person she was tricked into thinking was a 16-year-old boy named "Josh."

The final message sent by Josh, who flirted with the girl for weeks online, was reportedly "The world would be a better place without you."

It turned out Josh was an online persona created by the mother of a former friend of the girl. The woman told investigators she played the charade to find out what the girl really thought of her daughter, who was the jilted friend.

After finding out the mother's behavior didn't break the law, local politicians made it illegal to harass people on the Internet.

Police in Tennessee say that one teenage girl stabbed another over a comment posted at the Facebook social networking website.

School officials in some US cities restrict access to the Internet or mobile telephones on campuses.

"Some of this hysteria about bullying is just a way to try to regulate and surveil kids," said Nan Stein, a scientist at the Wellesley College's center for women, where she directs research on sexual harassment.

"We need to encourage kids to be citizens of the world. Being nice helps too, but we shouldn't be regulating."

The CDC performed its study of electronic aggression because it receives calls from "a lot of US schools" asking for advice regarding how to handle cyber bullying, Hertz said.

The report found that 64 percent of youths that said they were bullied on line contended they were not bullied at school. A separate US study concludes children bullied online are more likely to take guns to school.

It is vital for parents to be aware of their children's online experiences because electronic bullying is most likely to take place at homes or other places where teachers can't be alerted, researchers said.

As youth lifestyles increasingly involve the Internet and new ways to communicate it is understandable that bullying migrates from the real-world to the cyber arena, said University of California, Berkeley, researcher and sociologist C.J. Pascoe.

"It is the online manifestation of what they are doing in the schoolyard," said Pascoe, the author of a book on bullying titled "Dude, You're a ***."

"The issue is being overblown. We should be concerned with bullying and harassment in general, no matter where it takes place."

The popularity of social networking websites where people post profile pages packed with personal information and rosters of friends provide rich fodder for bullies, says Pascoe.

In contrast, online messaging and social networking can also be safe havens for shy children that have trouble making friends in the real world or get bullied in real life situations, according to Pascoe.

"We highlight in our article the benefit of technology," Hertz said of the published report.

"Kids are better able to make friends, maintain social connections and get accurate information. We really encourage more talking rather than blocking or prohibiting access to technology."

12-03-2007, 04:30 AM
As good of an explanation of the Juggalo lifestyle as I've ever read: http://www.viceland.com/int/v14n10/htdocs/land_of_juggalos.php?country=us

A Juggalo Is King

“What is a Juggalo? A dead body / Well he ain’t really dead, but he ain’t like anybody that you’ve ever met before / He’ll eat Monopoly and shit out Connect Four.” –ICP, “What is a Juggalo?”

With the possible exception of the Jews, no other group has eaten as big an amount of shit over the course of its existence as the Juggalos.

From the earliest reviews of the Insane Clown Posse’s singular brand of circus-themed swear-rap, the general contention has been that there is no way music could possibly sink below this point. This is the bottom. It’s almost as if ICP intentionally cherry-picked the worst aspects of goth, punk, gangsta rap, rave, nu-metal, and real metal to create a sub-culture so universally repulsive as to forestall any attempts at outside involvement. Basically, they trumped all previous claims of FTW, and then wrote a nearly unlistenable song called “Fuck the World” just to hammer the point home.

But while everybody else was busy acting like they were above gems such as “Bugz On My Nutz,” Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope were forging a media empire for their base of extremely devoted followers, the Juggalo Family—sort of like a rap-alliance between Deadheads and the KISS Army. The Family spread rapidly across the poorer swaths of the Midwest and established a huge and more or less self-sufficient underground with its own distribution network, porn, churches (seriously), charities, file-sharing services, anti-drunk-driving coalition (JADD), initiatory secret society, GLBT activist, pro- and backyard-wrestling circuits, and two MySpace variations (ninjaspace.net and the possibly defunct myjuggalospace.com).

If you want some scope of their national coverage, just plug the word “Juggalo” into google. Wait, actually I just tried that and it really wasn’t that impressive, but trust me, they are big and forever getting bigger. I know, because I just spent the weekend with a good 6,000 of them.

The Gathering of the Juggalos is like the horror-rap equivalent of the Hajj. ICP started it in 2000 as a two-day festival in their native Michigan to showcase the bands on their label, Psychopathic Records, but over the next few years it metastasized into a four-day-long acid-tit-and-rap binge, drawing thousands of Juggalos from across the country and featuring performances by outside rappers such as 2 Live Crew, Three 6 Mafia, and Vanilla Ice.

Except for a lucky three-year spate in northern Ohio, the Gathering has been forced to move every year due to crowd issues (the second one in Toledo resulted in a full-scale indoor police riot), and up until the third year, ICP had yet to make it through a complete set on account of audience overenthusiasm. This year’s was being held at a biker camp just outside the 350-person townlet of Cave-In-Rock right on the southern border of Illinois, an hour’s drive in all directions from anything approaching civilization.

I’d been hesitant to dive into the Gathering on my own, but at the last minute a Welsh Juggalo named Daff I’d emailed at juggalonews.com called me and offered to be my guide. I bought my tickets through ICP’s website, and two days later I was Juggalo-bound.

A Juggalo Is King

“What is a Juggalo? A fucking lunatic / Somebody with a rope tied to his dick / Then he jumps out a ten-story window / [slide whistle followed by breaking glass] Oh.”

I wanted to arrive by Friday afternoon, in time to get situated and catch Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony’s evening set, but shitty traffic caused me to miss the boat (like, literally—the last ferry across the Ohio River left an hour before I got there). After driving up and back down the river for two hours in search of a bridge I gave up and crashed in the back seat of my rental car next to a cornfield.

“What is a Juggalo? He ain’t a bitch, boy, / He’ll walk through the hills and beat up a rich boy / Walks right in the house while you’re having supper, and dips his nuts in the soup… bwoop.”

As I pulled up to the gates of the campground the next day, two well-dressed older men shoved a couple of Jack Chick tracts through my passenger window while a group of Juggalos super-soaked them from across the street. Based on my later run-ins with crowd-sprayers, it’s safe to assume that the substance being rained down on the preachers was at least partially Faygo, a Detroit-based bargain soda ICP has elevated to the level of Juggalo sacrament—arguably keeping the business afloat for the last decade). Starting right when I got there and culminating in several full-scale drenchings on the final night, I was personally subject to no less than eight separate Faygo showers over the course of the weekend.

In spite of their hosing, the two Christian guys stood their ground with strained smiles. During the month leading up to the Gathering, another minister led a campaign to ban the Juggalos from Cave-In-Rock which ended up doing little more than providing fodder for the local paper and turning its message board into a hilarious shouting match between residents, Juggalos, and Juggalos pretending to be residents. He also supposedly converted an Arizona Juggalo who accidentally showed up a week early and was stranded in the woods without any sort of vehicle, as the Southern Illinoisan dutifully reported.

Following a lax security check by a pair of girls in lawn chairs, I drove down a short gravel path and parked on a hill above a sea of early 90s Mercurys and minivans, makeshift tents, and luminescently pale skin. From my vantage point I was one of maybe two guys and three girls I could see wearing a top.

The creeping sensation of culture-shock reminded me of going to my first concert in middle school, but a lot more dread-y than exciting. Not only did I look nothing like anyone I had seen since I crossed the river, but I was also a good five-to-ten years older than most of the kids milling around, thereby abrogating my right to not have the shit beaten out of me should things turn ugly.

After finding a good plot to park and pitch my tent, I hopped back in the car and thumbed through the surprisingly well-printed festival guide. There were an ridiculous number of activities scheduled around the performances: Wrestling matches, autograph sessions, movie screenings, a magic show, a talent show, poker tournaments, foxy boxing, foxy wrestling, carnival rides, helicopter rides. Each day officially ran from 1 PM to 6 in the morning.

I decided to check out one of the hour-long “artist seminars” to get things started. On my way from the camping area to the seminar tent, I was overtaken by the Love Train, a tractor-drawn flatbed trailer which slowly circles the campground—essentially your typical hayride, but with more trash-throwing and tits. One of the passengers nailed me with an empty plastic bottle and shouted “Woot woot!” the call of the Juggalo, I quickly learned.

During one of our crackly phone conversations a few days earlier, Daff had told me he’d be hanging out with friends of his in the Detroit Hatchet Rydas Car Club. I figured that by canvassing the participants in that day’s car show, I’d have a fighting chance of tracking them down. As it turned out, their three cars were the sole vehicles in a huge cordoned-off field. Two of the Rydas, a heavily pierced kid named Kent and an older, spider-dreaded guy named Bill—both dressed in loose gangish reds—led me up to a pavilion where my host was seated at a picnic table with five other dudes playing a board game called The Quest for Shangri-La. It’s sort of a cross between D&D and Clue, but for Juggalos.

After wrapping up his game, Daff led me on a tour of “Hatchet Landing,” the official Juggalo name for this year’s campsite, and filled me in one what I’d missed so far. Not only had Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony played a mostly un-booed set (the traditional reception for non-Juggalo bands—the first to crack and leave the stage is the winner of that year’s “Bubba Sparxx Award”), they’d been followed by one of Psychopathic Record’s two ICP-led supergroups, Dark Lotus, who wear Sunn 0)))-style monks’ robes and are otherwise vaguely “mystical.” The other one, Psychopathic Rydas, is a 90s-gangsta-rap pastiche composed of roughly the same members. They played the other stage that night at two.

We caught the tail-end of a show by Liquid Assassin and Killa C, who were dead-on a rap version of Yogi and Boo Boo. Following the last song, C made some cryptic remarks about being tailed by “the feds” and hurried offstage, leaving Liquid Assassin to gush over their reception:

“I don’t know if you guys realize, but it touches us to know we’ve got so much support out there and that we’re all a part of the same Juggalo family—”

The fact he was saying this to a crowd of maybe 50 people in front of a park pavilion in the middle of the afternoon didn’t strike anyone around me as funny. Actually, the majority of them took the sincerity and ran with it, cutting him off by chanting “FAM-I-LY! FAM-I-LY!” It was the first of many, many, many times I’d hear that specific chant over the next two days. Then Killa C used his wireless mic to do a shoutout from the bathroom. That part was actually pretty classic.

Daff and I crossed a gravel path to a little tent compound where he introduced me to Scottie, a Texan ninja who runs Juggalonews’s chief competitor, faygoluvers.net. Scottie explained for me the difference between the terms Juggalo and ninja (ninja’s more casual and familiar, like dawg or *****—but there’s also a weird sense in which it refers to real ninjas) and then elaborated on the “real” meaning behind the J-word.

“For all the kids you see who are into it and are wearing the same clothes or face-paint or whatever, that’s not all being a Juggalo is,” he told me. “It’s actually more about having a certain mindset, and understanding who you really are without getting bogged down with what the rest of the world feels. Violent J has said, you don’t even have to be a fan of ICP to be a Juggalo.”

I got roughly the same answer from everyone else I asked about the nature of Juggalodom. As we left the tent, Daff remembered something he had been trying to tell me during Killa C’s set before a barrage of garbage from the Love Train broke his train of thought.

“A lot of the lyrics can seem dark when you first hear it, but if you listen to them in their proper context it’s really quite a positive message that ICP are trying to get across. There’s some cartoonish violence going on, but generally the people on the receiving end are the types of people who deserve it—racists, child-molesting priests, those sort of folks. Mostly though, the music’s all about unity, and looking out for the members of your Juggalo Family. Really more than anything, the feeling of being at the Gathering every year is like being at a reunion—except in this case it’s a family of your own choosing.”

I felt like this was sort of the same deal as with any fan-centric band, but then he clued me in to ICP’s central credo.

“The biggest part of the Insane Clown Posse up until recently has been the six Joker’s Card albums, which are based on a revelation Violent J had when he and Shaggy first formed the band,” he told me. “The first card was the Carnival of Carnage, which established this idea of the Dark Carnival [kind of their personal metaphor for life or society]. Every few years they’d put out another Joker’s Card album revealing a new aspect of the Carnival—first Ringmaster who was kind of the Carnival’s overseer and a manifestation of people’s sins, then Riddlebox, The Great Milenko, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers, and then they announced that for the sixth and final card, there would be two releases.

“When the first one came out, The Wraith: Shangri-La, it was totally different from anything they’d released up to that point,” he went on. “There’d been hints of the direction in which they’d been heading if you followed the lyrics closely, but here they laid it all out straight and said, ‘The Dark Carnival is God, we’re not sorry if we fooled you—we’ve always followed God and want all Juggalos to find him.’ The second part took a while to come out, and there were rumors that ICP were sort of reluctant to make it. It was called The Wraith: Hell’s Pit and is all a warning about the perils of Hell.”

As I was digesting all this, we passed by a small, fetid pond in the middle of the site where several ninjas were lounging on a floating dock. There were about four or five large upside-down fish at the surface of the water near our end, and three more flattened and covered with flies in the surrounding grass.

“Every year there’s some sort of swimming hole at the Gathering,” Daff told me, “The guys from Twiztid dubbed it ‘Lake Hepatitis.’ I’m not sure what happened with the fish, but they weren’t floating like this the first day.”

Maybe runny face paint had thrown off the ph balance, I suggested.

“Maybe. Folks were slapping each other with them when they first started surfacing.”

I was having a bit of a hard time reconciling all the weird spiritual and individual-empowerment business with the general adolescent dumb I’d been basting in all day. The few people I’d talked to so far had been really well-spoken and thoughtful, but it seemed like everyone around me was inarticulate to the point of it being sort of endearing. Daff was able to put it into concrete terms:

“The thing with ICP is there are very few sort of ‘casual fans.’ I’d say people who like the music but don’t consider themselves Juggalos make up maybe five to ten percent of their overall fanbase. The rest are the type of kids you see here.”

I was momentarily distracted as we passed by a pavilion full of ninjas bouncing a beach ball to the strains of “Help Me, Ronda.”

“Oh, that’s Violent J’s Beach Boys Blowout Beach Blast, or some other alliteration,” Daff informed me. “He’s really into the Beach Boys.”

After I regained my composure, he resumed his explanation.

“Then there’s five or ten percent of Juggalos at the other end of the spectrum who are the sort of people I like to hang out with. They’re the type who really think about the whole Dark Carnival and are into things like the Quest for Shangri-La and Morton’s List.” He took a minute to choose his next words. “There’s sort of an opinion about Juggalos, that a lot aren’t very bright—”

There was a sudden eruption of cheering down the hill from us, where the Love Train had just rolled behind some trees.

“You know what that is, right?” Daff asked me.

“Titty-flash?” I hazarded as a guess.

Daff nodded gravely.

“What is a Juggalo? He just don’t care / He might try to put a weave in his nut-hair / Cause he could give a fuck-less what a bitch thinks / He tells her that her butt stinks, and all that.”

At around seven, people started migrating from the campground to the main stage en mass. There was a lot more face paint and fake blood than during the day, as well as costumes ranging in complexity from basic jester get-ups to Faygo Man suits improvised out of empty 12-packs to full-on ensembles of kids in matching face paint and blood-stained aprons with the Psychopathic Records “hatchet man” logo (sort of a reworked kokopelli with a meat cleaver).

As the evening performances began I started picking up on the nuances of Juggalo trash-pelting. It, like the Faygo drenchings, seemed to be more a measure of general audience enthusiasm than any sort of commentary on the target being pummeled. For instance, during Anybody Killa’s set, the throwing dwindled down to just a few wayward bottles and was replaced in some segments of the crowd by ninjas facing away from the stage while giving a backward double-bird—the apparent result of an old beef between ABK and the rest of Psychopathic’s talent pool. When Mushroomhead took the stage afterward, the fusillades began picking up steam, finally reaching a fever pitch by the time that night’s headliners, Twiztid, started playing.

Once the performances had ended, the herd made its way over to the wrestling ring for Bloodmania! a tournament pitting amateurs against professionals from ICP’s Juggalo Championshit Wrestling league.

By this point I’d grown more or less inured to the “Woot woot!”s and the “FAM-I-LY! FAM-I-LY”s and the “SHOW YOUR TITS! SHOW YOUR TITS!”s. I was even starting to get into the throwing shit. The guy in front of me was really giving it his all on this front, dropping to his knees after each lob to scrounge up more ammo. Even though it was massively interfering with all the matches I assumed everybody outside the ring was cool with the perpetual garbage shower. Suddenly, out of the blue, an anti-pelting contingent sprang up behind me and began chanting “STOP THROWING SHIT! STOP THROWING SHIT!” It was the first time I’d ever seen a crowd chastise itself.

The guy in front of me shrugged it off until one of the chanters singled him out and yelled, “Hey asshole, I just want to see some fucking wrestling, all right?”

Furious, the shit-chucker spun around and faced his accuser, bellowing, “And I just want to see some fucking wrestler get nailed with some fucking shit!”

I was certain someone was about to get clocked, but before punches could be thrown two dudes in huge shorts ran up panting like they’d just discovered gold.

“Dude! We’re going to go get a dead fish to throw up there!”

I didn’t catch the anti-throwing guys’ reaction to this announcement, but pro-throwing guy yelled louder than I’ve ever heard anyone yell in my life.

At around three, my exhaustion from a full day in the sun started to compete heavily with a burgeoning sensation of titlust. I held out for one last set from the girls who hold those number cards between rounds, then made my way back to the campground, where most of the surrounding tents were blaring hip-hop. I thought briefly of trying to make some night buddies, but I was way too zonked.

The second I zipped my flap shut, somebody came by and tried the doors of my car.

A Juggalo Is King

“What is a Juggalo? Well he ain’t a phony / He’ll walk up and bust a nut in your macaroni / And watch you sit there and finish up the last bit / Cause you’re a stupid-ass dumb fucking idiot.”

I awoke the next morning around ten to the sounds of fireworks and an argument between two groups of campers over whether or not Canada is stupid. Since activities didn’t start until one, I decided to drive into town and see if I could find something other than carnival food for breakfast.

Granted it was church-time on a Sunday, but Cave-In-Rock looked like the whole town had decided to take the weekend off. At least two restaurants boasted large, hand-lettered signs announcing that they would be closed for the exact dates of the Gathering, although the real prize I was searching for, a “Juggalos Not Welcome” sign I’d heard rumors of, had either come down or never happened in the first place.

When I got back to the campground, a mousy girl in glasses and a bikini top approached and cheerfully asked “Titties for a dollar?” I stuttered for a couple seconds trying to figure out the right answer, but she just shrugged it off and moved on to the next tent.

After checking on my stuff, I started to circle the grounds in search of Daff, but was waylaid by a pair of guys and a girl who looked like they were pushing maybe 14 and were offering titties for a cigarette. I took another pass (although I ended up scoring a freebie when some passing ninjas woot-wooted us), but did sit down for a little while to see how this year’s party was going for them.

“We all took some ecstasy the first night,” the guy without a shirt on told me. “Then me and her did some acid when we were coming down and now we’re just getting ready for ICP tonight, which is going to be amazing.”

“You can get absolutely anything you want out here,” the shirted guy added. “Acid, shrooms, K, opium—all you have to do is shout and people’ll come right up to you and offer it.”

“Yeah, everyone here’s so accepting and nice to each other,” the tit-girl said. “When I first got here, I was really shy.”

As soon as I left them I gave the acid-calling thing a try. Within seconds two Juggalos emerged from separate crowds offering to take me back to their tents. I have the feeling they were both on the level, but for some reason their eagerness totally triggered my sketch alarm so I pretended I’d left my wallet back in my car and fled.

Eventually I crossed paths with Daff, who had just won the Quest For Shangri-La finals and wanted to introduce me to a Tennesseean ninja named Brad who was deeply involved with another of the Juggalos’ more cerebral offerings, Morton’s List. The way Brad broke it down for me, ML is basically a mystical fraternal order as determined by an RPG-version of truth or dare. You roll a thirty-sided die three times, match your numbers to an entry in a big book of quests, and then have one hour to complete your assigned quest or at least give it a decent effort. If you’re successful you ascend to different degrees, like in Freemasonry. Brad had a bunch of the degrees he’d earned tattooed on his arm, and was going to do the rest as soon as he got the money together.

While he was showing me his quest-log and gear, a guy in basketball shorts and a t-shirt hanging from his head came up to us and asked if I worked for a magazine. I’d been upfront with everybody I’d talked to and was holding a tape-recorder in my hand, so I didn’t see any sense in trying to deny what I was up to.

“Oh man, I really need to talk to you when you’re done,” he said, with an unsettling smile on his face.

I thanked Brad for giving me the scoop on the List, then turned to face my new pal.

“We are the only two people who know the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes,” he whispered through his teeth. “I’m Brad Troemel. I’m a photographer from Chicago doing a project on the Gathering and you are the first non-Juggalo I’ve talked to in days.”

It was like I’d just run into Dennis Hopper’s in Apocalypse Now. After taking off my shirt so as not to “blow his cover,” Brad and I retreated to the corndog tent to swap notes. While I’d been more or less limited to a nerd’s eye view of the proceedings, Brad had been immediately accepted as a member of the Family and thereby given a more up close and personal perspective.

“I was stuck on the Ferris wheel with a girl simultaneously on PCP and acid,” he told me. “She kept alternating between quiet mumbling and lucidly threatening to hang me from my entrails. That was a little intense.”

He’d also been witness to two of the Gathering’s finest open-mic sessions, the first a band called the Jumping Ninjas whose deaf frontman rapped in sign language while dressed in full ninja gear. The second was a rapper from New Jersey named Daville, who after declaring his set the opening of “Krunk Fest,” proceeded to chuck full cans of beer point-blank into the audience, then ran through the crowd stealing people’s joints, returned to the stage smoking four joints at once, cried, barfed, then descended into the crowd one more time to brain people with a plastic folding chair.

The best I’d seen was a fat guy in clown paint who couldn’t think of anything to rap besides the line “You want fries with that?”

Per Brad’s recommendation, we went to ride the Tempest, a tilt-a-whirl variation being tended by a carny with a bent wrench and a can of beer. We stayed in our car for about five go-rounds—every new load of Juggalos who boarded instinctively turned to their right as soon as the ride started and began screaming “Yo, fuck the purple car!”

A Juggalo Is King

“What is a Juggalo? A Juggalo. Aks what it is well fuck if I know. / What is a Juggalo? I don’t know. But I’m down with the clown and I’m down for life, yo.”

ICP closes the festival each year, and from what I’d been repeatedly warned, their set is the Faygo shower to end all Faygo showers. Bearing that in mind, I changed into an oversized t-shirt with a bloody skull I’d scored the day before and borrowed a steak knife from my neighbors to convert my jeans into shorts. I was now all set.

A parade of Juggalos in their Sunday night best began making its way through the gravel trails leading to the main stage. For all the eyefucks I’d been dealt the previous days, nothing prepared me for this stream of amazement. There were clown and serial-killer-clown and serial-killer-victim costumes that must have taken hours to assemble. There were 15-foot-high wooden hatchet-men signs, tits of all shapes and sizes (though mostly pubescent-looking), and at least one naked guy painted half-green and half-red except for his dick. It was like some sort of creepy religious procession for poor Midwestern teens.

I met back up with Brad behind the soundboards and we began to work our way through the crowd. After doing makeshift keg stands from a water cooler full of “Juggalo Juice”, Brad and I met the acquaintance of a Juggalo named Pyro Blaziac, who decided to take us under his wing. Pyro had one of those ponytails where it’s pulled really tight at the top then shaved on the back and sides, as well as several thin patches of white fiber sticking out of his scalp that I think were either stitches or the remnants of a bandage. He also sounded exactly like they make teenagers sound in cartoons—right on the dividing line between surfer and Midwestern pothead. Basically, he was the living manifestation of Juggalodom as I’d experienced it.

After introducing us to his crew, Pyro laid out what we should expect once the music started.

“OK,” he said. “You want to be looking to the front and to the back the whole time. You’re going to be getting slammed with bottles of Faygo from the stage and shit from the rest of the crowd behind you at the same time, and people are going to be riding up on top of you. It’s pretty much going to be a full-on warzone.” He was literally dancing in place with excitement.

Within seconds of the band’s opening notes, I was coated in a film of sugar that left me and my glasses residually sticky for days after the festival (I just hucked all my clothes). I’ve been to any number of intense shows, but never have I felt so completely at the mercy of the crowd as I did that night. It was like being adrift in a churning ocean of skin and soda and fake blood. Onstage, ICP and a small army of clown-costumed assistants fired off two-liter after two-liter of Faygo root beer into the audience, drawing their ammo from huge gallon drums brimming with somehow more bottles. As Pyro had warned me, the onslaught came evenly from both sides. In addition to a steady stream of people, anything too large to fling toward the stage was crowd-surfed in that direction. I ended up getting hit square in the face with boots, fists, chairs, bare tits, other people’s faces, and an empty cooler. I also think I gouged some poor girl’s nipple with my thumb while trying to push her overhead. I feel bad about that one.

Following the longest 20 minutes of my life, I gave up and extricated myself from the maelstrom. I finally broke lose at the far edge of the stage by the space between the barricade and the stage where the crowd surfers were deposited after making it to the front. The folks who came out of this exit-chute did so in full, trance-like rap-dance. It was sort of like a filthy version of the Soul Train Line.

I walked to the back of the field and sat down next to a passed out kid as ICP launched into “Juggalo Homies,” the closest of their songs to a mainstream jam (it sort of sounds like Smashmouth doing rap). A woman swinging two glowsticks on ropes came up and screamed at me “Why are you sitting there like that!?” I pointed to each of my eyeballs, and she nodded and walked away.

After changing/removing shirts, I met up with Pyro and his crew at the Spazmatic Hang-Out tent, named for ICP’s new energy drink. Pyro inducted us into the Midnight Wanderers, reciting the group’s mission statement:

“Every year, at the Gathering, at Sunday, at midnight, we come together and wander until the sun comes up, annoying the living bullshit out of everyone we meet! WAN-der-ERS!” The last part was sung the same way five-year-olds sing “SU-per-MAN!”

It was a succinct and well-rehearsed speech I’d hear at least a dozen more times that evening, as we collected new members and followed the changing bearer of the “Wandering Stick” to bonfire after bonfire, through campsite drug dens, through other campsite drug dens being broken up by security, past the ICP foam party, and for one trying hour, onto the floating dock in the middle of Lake Hepatitis.

As the Midnight Wanderers marked their course for a pizza break, Brad and I broke away to check out the tent with the Juggalo pajama party, which had either devolved into or always been a stripping contest. To our amazement, the contestant who got completely naked the second the music started and spent the whole song bent over facing away from the audience didn’t win. The tall girl did.

I left Brad to check in on Daff at the Hatchet Rydas tent, but found him crashed in a lawn chair while the rest of the Rydas were scrambling around in a near panic. Kent stormed into the tent trembling with rage and began dousing his hands in sanitizer.

“The camp owners said we’re this close to losing this site for next year because of all the trash,” he said. “Psychopathic’s people asked us if we’d help with the cleanup, because our spot is so neat, but dudes keep kicking over trash cans and being like, ‘Yo, why are you picking up all that garbage?’”

I started to look around for scraps, but then the Wanderers crested the nearby hill and, momentarily torn between helping out the Juggalos’ five-percenters and reveling in the absolute, undistilled essence of adolescent vacancy, I rejoined the ranks of the dumb. At the bottom of the hill three of the Wanderers kicked the living shit out of a garbage can.

By 4 AM, we’d made it back to the original Wanderers’ campsite where Pyro, who had run ahead, was busy filling a tent with gas-soaked trash (and a table).

“The guy who owns this asked me to get rid of it for him, so we’re going to set it on fire.”

He unspooled an entire roll of toilet paper, we thought to use as a fuse, then bunched it up, lit it, and shoved the whole flaming mess under the table. The tent was fully ablaze in a matter of minutes.

As the flames and awful-smelling smoke rose into the night, a large SUV pulled up behind us and the tent’s owner rolled down the passenger window.

“Man… that’s tight.”


12-04-2007, 02:57 PM

Oh man, the title of this article was just too fucking funny to me.

Female suicide bomber dies in Pakistan
Attacker died near Christian school in failed attempt on military post

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A female suicide bomber, apparently aiming to attack a military post, blew herself up near a Christian school in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, officials said, in Pakistan’s first known case of a suicide attack by a woman.

Police officer Ashraf Khan said the woman was walking near a Christian missionary school and a military checkpoint when explosives strapped to her body went off, killing her instantly. There were no other casualties.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the bomber, who was wearing a burqa, tried to approach the military post but was stopped by troops.

“On realizing that she cannot approach the security personnel, she exploded herself,” Cheema told a weekly news conference at the ministry in Islamabad.

“I think this has been the first suicide bombing by a woman,” he said.

Peshawar police chief Tanveerul Haq Sipra told reporters at the scene that an initial examination of the woman’s remains indicated she may have been in her 30s.

Dozens of police and soldiers sealed off the area, which was splattered with blood and body parts

Pakistan has been hit by a rash of suicide bombings in recent months, but this is the first known case in of a woman carrying out a suicide attack.

In October, authorities initially said a suicide attack, which killed 14 other people in Bannu, was carried out by a woman. They later reported the bomber was a man wearing a burqa.

On Nov. 24, two suicide bombers hit a bus carrying intelligence agency employees and a checkpoint near the headquarters of Pakistan’s army, killing at least 16 people.

Cheema also said security forces had arrested a man suspected in a bomb explosion that killed six students Monday at an Islamic school in southwestern Baluchistan province. He did not disclose the suspect’s identity or motive.

12-05-2007, 05:14 AM
.............. huh? I don't get it, Andrew--what's the funny in that title? Not that I don't like laughing at people dying and everything, but I'm missing the joke here.

12-06-2007, 09:24 AM

Cheapest Audition Ever: Journey Searches YouTube, Finds New Lead Singer
Meet the Philippines' Arnel Pineda (that's "pin-eh-da"), the most recent man responsible for encouraging those wonderful YouTubes of nobodys covering somebodys we all love so. Journey's needed a lead singer, and guitarist Neal Schion told Blabbermouth:

"I was frustrated about not having a singer, so I went on YouTube for a couple of days and just sat on it for hours. I was starting to think I was never going to find anybody. But then I found THE ZOO and I watched a bunch of different video clips that they had posted. After watching the videos over and over again, I had to walk away from the computer and let what I heard sink in because it sounded too good to be true. I thought, 'he can't be that good.' But he is that good, he's the real deal and so tremendously talented...

12-06-2007, 09:28 AM

12-06-2007, 09:54 AM
Cheapest Audition Ever: Journey Searches YouTube, Finds New Lead Singer...

Pshaw whatever Arnel Pineda. Yablo should have gotten it.


12-06-2007, 10:00 AM

Bands Seek Piece of Ticket Scalpers' Action
By Eliot Van Buskirk Email 12.05.07 | 7:30 PM

With CD sales tanking, bands and their managers are looking to squeeze extra cash out of the live-music revenue stream by getting a piece of online ticket scalpers' profits.

Now Radiohead, The Verve and more than 400 other bands have joined the Resale Rights Society, a new British industry group that wants to levy fees against websites that facilitate so-called secondary sales of tickets. The money would be used to compensate artists, managers, booking agents and promoters.

"It does not make sense to try and criminalize (ticket scalping)," said Marc Margot, former Island Records chief and chairman-elect of the Resale Rights Society, which was announced Tuesday. "On the other hand, there are not only real issues of consumer protection here, (but) it is unacceptable that not a penny of the estimated 200 million pounds in (annual) transactions generated by the resale of concert tickets in the U.K. is returned to the investors in the live-music industry."

Many fans see ticket scalping as unfair, and in some U.S. states the practice is limited or illegal. But others see sites like Seat Exchange, eBay and StubHub -- which let scalpers resell concert tickets at whatever price the market will bear -- as a natural part of the music ecosystem. And some fans simply recognize scalpers as the easiest route to getting great seats to sold-out shows.

But just as record labels are going after a portion of concert receipts with their so-called 360 deals, managers and bands are salivating over ticket scalpers' hefty markups.

If the Resale Rights Society's plan works, any website that facilitates the sale of tickets to shows by the group's members without paying the fees would be subject to legal action. Under the plan, all tickets would be emblazoned with an official seal to help fight fraudulent ticket sales.

Agreements between the RRS and online ticket exchanges could be finalized by spring 2008. The organization, which was formed by the Music Managers' Forum, also hopes to have artists' right to an interest in secondary ticket sales written into British law, which currently does not restrict scalping of tickets.

But the RRS and similar groups that could emerge in the United States will have to fight an uphill battle to get a piece of secondary ticket sales.

"I don't know how that's ever going to fly," Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of live-music publication Pollstar, said of the group's plans. In the United States, he said, "The trend is in the opposite direction. Areas with strict anti-scalping laws have been rolling them back and letting the market deal with the situation."

However, Bongiovanni pointed to a potential ray of light for the RRS and any similar effort by the U.S. live-music industry: the fact that a ticket is, in a sense, a contract. With the right fine print, he said, an industry group might be able to control how tickets are resold, but "a lot of lawyers are going to make a lot of money" determining the legality of the contracts.

At least one online ticket retailer is unconvinced by the RRS reasoning.

"If I have a Harry Potter book to resell, do I pay J.K. Rowling twice?" said Viagogo founder Eric Baker in an interview with Reuters.

12-10-2007, 08:16 AM
81-year-old Scotch sells for $54,000 Sun Dec 9, 1:57 PM ET

NEW YORK - A bottle of 81-year-old Scotch sold for $54,000 at this New York's first liquor auction since Prohibition.

An anonymous collector bought the pricey potable at Christie's sale of wines and spirits on Saturday.

The 100-lot auction sold a total of $304,800 worth of rare wine and liquor. The top lot was a collection of 729 bottles of whisky, which went for $102,000.

The $54,000 bottle was distilled at Macallan in Scotland in 1926, bottled in 1986 and rebottled in 2002.

Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933, but New York State did not allow auctions of spirits until this year.

The auction prices include Christie's 20 percent commission.

12-13-2007, 12:03 AM
The Nine Most Unnecessary Greatest Hits Albums of All Time (http://www.cracked.com/article_15714_9-most-unnecessary-greatest-hits-albums-all-time.html)

This is pretty funny.



The window of time in which the world actually gave a shit about Vanilla Ice was quite slim, maybe a year, max. Granted, during those twelve months, the man put together a dazzling string of accomplishments: the first rap song to reach #1 on the Billboard pop charts, one of the best selling rap albums of all time, several Grammy and American Music Award nominations, sex with a still hot at the time Madonna. It was a good run.

But as adored as he may have been for 52 weeks in 1990-1991, he was absolutely fucking hated a million times more for about ten years after. An incident in which he was supposedly dangled from the ankles off a balcony from the top floor of a hotel and forced to sign over the publishing rights to his biggest hit ever is still used as comedy fodder to this day, most recently on a 2006 episode of Entourage. Chew on that for a second, the fact that Vanilla Ice was almost murdered by Suge Knight is thought to be hilarious by millions of people. This album could be called The Very Best of That Fucking Ice Ice Baby Dick That Suge Knight Should Have Dropped To His Death and nobody would bat an eyelash.

Follow link to remaining 8

12-13-2007, 08:21 AM
SKoreans clone cats that glow in the dark (http://www.physorg.com/news116662903.html)

South Korean scientists have cloned cats by manipulating a fluorescent protein gene, a procedure which could help develop treatments for human genetic diseases, officials said Wednesday.
In a side-effect, the cloned cats glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet beams.

A team of scientists led by Kong Il-keun, a cloning expert at Gyeongsang National University, produced three cats possessing altered fluorescence protein (RFP) genes, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

"It marked the first time in the world that cats with RFP genes have been cloned," the ministry said in a statement.

"The ability to produce cloned cats with the manipulated genes is significant as it could be used for developing treatments for genetic diseases and for reproducing model (cloned) animals suffering from the same diseases as humans," it added.

The cats were born in January and February. One was stillborn while two others grew to become adult Turkish Angoras, weighing 3.0 kilogrammes (6.6 pounds) and 3.5 kilogrammes.


"This technology can be applied to clone animals suffering from the same diseases as humans," the leading scientist, Kong, told AFP.

"It will also help develop stemcell treatments," he said, noting that cats have some 250 kinds of genetic diseases that affect humans, too.

The technology can also help clone endangered animals like tigers, leopards and wildcats, Kong said.

South Korea's bio-engineering industry suffered a setback after a much-touted achievement by cloning expert Hwang Woo-Suk turned out to have been faked.

The government banned Hwang from research using human eggs after his claims that he created the first human stem cells through cloning were ruled last year to be bogus.

Hwang is standing trial on charges of fraud and embezzlement.

12-13-2007, 04:23 PM

Why Time Seems to Slow Down in Emergencies Charles Q. Choi
Special to LiveScience.com
Wed Dec 12, 7:20 AM ET

In The Matrix, the hero Neo could dodge bullets because time moved in slow motion for him during battles. Indeed, in the real world, people in danger often feel as if time slowed down for them.

This warping of time apparently does not result from the brain speeding up from adrenaline when in danger. Instead, this feeling seems to be an illusion, scientists now find.

To see if danger makes people experience time in slow motion, scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston tried scaring volunteers. However, roller coasters and other frightening amusement park rides did not cause enough fear to make time warp.

Instead, the researchers dropped volunteers from great heights. Scientists had volunteers dive backward with no ropes attached, into a special net that helped break their fall. They reached 70 mph during the roughly three-second, 150-foot drop.

"It's the scariest thing I have ever done," said researcher David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine. "I knew it was perfectly safe, and I also knew that it would be the perfect way to make people feel as though an event took much longer than it actually did."

Indeed, volunteers estimated their own fall lasted about a third longer than dives they saw other volunteers take.

To see if this meant people in danger could actually see and perceive more—like a video camera in slow motion can—Eagleman and his colleagues developed a device called a "perceptual chronometer" that was strapped onto volunteers' wrists. This watch-like device flickered numbers on its screen. The scientists could adjust the speed at which numbers appeared until they were too fast to see.

If the brain sped up when in danger, the researchers theorized numbers on the perceptual chronometers would appear slow enough to read while volunteers fell. Instead, the scientists found that volunteers could not read the numbers at faster-than-normal speeds.

"We discovered that people are not like Neo in The Matrix, dodging bullets in slow-mo," Eagleman said.

Memory trick

Instead, such time warping seems to be a trick played by one's memory. When a person is scared, a brain area called the amygdala becomes more active, laying down an extra set of memories that go along with those normally taken care of by other parts of the brain.

"In this way, frightening events are associated with richer and denser memories," Eagleman explained. "And the more memory you have of an event, the longer you believe it took."

Eagleman added this illusion "is related to the phenomenon that time seems to speed up as you grow older. When you're a child, you lay down rich memories for all your experiences; when you're older, you've seen it all before and lay down fewer memories. Therefore, when a child looks back at the end of a summer, it seems to have lasted forever; adults think it zoomed by."

This work could help better understand disorders linked with timing, such as schizophrenia. Still, in the end, "it's really about understanding the virtual reality machinery that we're trapped in," Eagleman told LiveScience. "Our brain constructs this reality for us that, if we look closely, we can find all these strange illusions in. The fact that we're now seeing this with how we perceive time is new."

Eagleman and his colleagues detailed their findings online Dec. 11 in the journal PLoS ONE.

12-14-2007, 09:28 AM

- - - -

Your average 12-year-old boy is about 5 feet tall, weighs in the area of a buck-fifteen, and has developed little muscle mass.

I am 21, approximately 6 feet tall, tip the scales at an even 180, and have a moderately athletic and muscular build.

Judging on these statistics and what I assume would be a natural ferocity that would spring forth in a moment of physical danger, I estimate that I could beat up seven 12-year-olds before they overtook me. Of course, these would have to be the aforementioned average-sized 12-year-olds. Future linebackers, NBA players, and all Scandinavian children would throw off this equation. On the flip side, if these were some wimpy, four-square-playing, future-jockey 12-year-olds, I imagine the number would skyrocket to anywhere between 12 and 15. It's simple exponential math.

This is also assuming that my opponents are smart enough to organize themselves into a circular attack instead of coming at me one by one. If it were an individual, king-of-the-mountain battle royale, I could endlessly pummel 12-year-olds without mercy. But we're assuming at least a sixth-grade education in a marginal public school as well as some exposure to kung-fu movies, so these kids would form a circle.

However, using my quick wits, I would charge one portion of the circle, landing a devastating blow on the unlucky individual, which would make the others proceed with hesitancy. One on one, I feel like I could deliver a lot of punishment to a 12-year-old. There would be one or two brave ones who would jump on my back, distracting me and thus enabling the others to attack. At best, I could fight off the two heroes on my back and maybe take out four on the ground before I was felled by fatigue and numerous kicks to my groin and shins. This would equal a grand total of seven.

My friend Brian, who stands about 6 feet 2 inches and is stronger than myself, estimates that he could take down a dozen 12-year-olds. I find this hard to believe, but he has been in a fight with people his own age and is a little taller, making groin shots more difficult. Brian's reach is much longer than mine as well, which is a huge advantage. If you can land solid shots from a distance longer than the 12-year-olds' legs, there is no need to worry about groin kicks.

He says he would attack one portion of the circle in a fury, scaring off any would-be heroes who wanted to jump on his back and sacrifice themselves for the group. Then he would deal massive blows until fatigue and the inevitable groin shots brought him to the ground. I told him I'd give him nine or ten, but even for the above-average Brian, taking down a dozen 12-year-olds seems like a lot.

If it weren't for the law and my own morals, we could put these pressing questions to rest. Alas, these barriers still stand in our way.

I'm a pacifist anyway.

12-20-2007, 10:58 AM
this one just floors me.


Judge rejects challenge to cockfighting ban
Associated Press
Dec. 20, 2007 10:01 AM

A judge has rejected an effort to kill the state's cockfighting ban.

State District Judge William McBee of Lovington on Wednesday declined to issue an injunction sought by the New Mexico Gamefowl Breeders Association and six businessmen to prevent the ban from being enforced.

The ban, which went into effect June 15, makes participating in a cockfight a misdemeanor for the first two offenses and a felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison for subsequent offenses.

McBee said the plaintiffs did not appear to have standing to challenge the law. He also said he was "deeply persuaded" by the state's arguments.

Ronald Barron of Artesia, president of the gamefowl breeders group, said Thursday he will call the association's board of directors together to decide the next step. He said the meeting probably would be after the holidays.

"I don't think we have a choice but to appeal it, even if we have to go all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court," he said.

Had the cockfighters prevailed, the state would have appealed, he said.

The 19-page lawsuit, filed July 5, argued that prohibiting cockfighting violated rights protected under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War and made New Mexico a U.S. territory.

Attorney Mark Pollot of Boise, Idaho, who represented the challengers, repeated that argument in court.

"It's not about whether cockfighting is a good thing or a bad thing," he said.

Assistant Attorney General Scott Fuqua said the group's arguments about treaty rights centered on civil, not criminal, statutes such as the cockfighting law.

"You can't point to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and say the conduct I want to engage in is a cultural right," Fuqua said.

The lawsuit also argued that lawmakers failed to follow constitutionally required procedures when passing the ban. The state attorney general's office said the Legislature acted properly.

Barron was disappointed in the judge's decision.

"No one realizes how many thousands of people this has hurt," he said. "They should have let it (decisions on cockfighting) go county by county. They took the county's rights away from them, too."

He added: "We get treated real bad because of what we do. These animal rights people, they're always saying a bunch of stuff about us that aren't true. I've never even had a speeding ticket. I think I'm pretty well respected in my community."

A spokeswoman for Animal Protection of New Mexico did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

In a cockfight, two roosters fitted with blades or gaffs on their legs are placed into a pit and fight until one is dead or badly wounded. Although gambling on fights is illegal, spectators openly bet on the outcome.

Opponents had pushed for more than two decades to ban cockfighting, but the effort gained momentum earlier this year with first-ever endorsements from Gov. Bill Richardson and the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Several New Mexico counties had already banned the bloodsport before the statewide law was passed.

Supporters of the ban, including animal-rights activists, argue that cockfighting is cruel and should have been outlawed long ago.

Challengers, however, contended the ban prohibits people from participating in a culturally important sport; costs income and destroys businesses; destroys lifestyles and recreational activities; and has a chilling effect on people who fear arrest and confiscation of their birds and equipment by police who can't distinguish between birds kept for fighting and those kept for other reasons.

Barron said the ruling basically said the treaty doesn't matter.

"We've got to figure out if the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo means anything to the people of New Mexico. ... Was it just for land grants? Was it just for water rights? I feel like it was for people's rights, period," Barron said.

12-20-2007, 11:05 AM
i already posted the link in the in rainbows thread, and supre posted the audio of the interview shortly thereafter....

for the sake of repetitive redundancy..


David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music
12.18.07 | 6:00 PM

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (left) and David Byrne.
Photo: James Day
David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars
It seemed like a crazy idea. When Radiohead said it would release its new album, In Rainbows, as a pay-what-you-will digital download, you'd have thought the band had gone communist. After all, Thom Yorke and company are one of the world's most successful groups — a critical darling as well as a fan favorite for nearly 15 years. They hadn't put out a new album in more than four years, and the market was hungry for their next disc. So why would Radiohead conduct such a radical experiment?

Thom Yorke in conversation with David Byrne.

"The last track was absolute agony ..."

"Call security ..."

"Don't sign a huge contract that strips you of all your digital rights ..."

"A, that's asking for trouble and B, it's snobbery ..."

"They're making it up ... We haven't released any figures ..."

"Knives out, weapons out, kill to the death, every trick ... in the book ... Every emotional blackmail to get your way ..."

"Do you know where your income comes from?"

"Nothing over 120 bpm please ..."

"Neil Young never goes back and rewrites..."

It turns out the gambit was a savvy business move. In the first month, about a million fans downloaded In Rainbows. Roughly 40 percent of them paid for it, according to comScore, at an average of $6 each, netting the band nearly $3 million. Plus, since it owns the master recording (a first for the band), Radiohead was also able to license the album for a record label to distribute the old-fashioned way — on CD. In the US, it goes on sale January 1 through TBD Records/ATO Records Group.

While pay-what-you-will worked for Radiohead, though, it's hard to imagine the model paying off for Miley Cyrus — aka chart-topping teenybopper Hannah Montana. Cyrus' label, Walt Disney Records, will stick to selling CDs in Wal-Mart, thank you very much. But the truth is that Radiohead didn't intend In Rainbows to start a revolution. The experiment simply proves there is plenty of room for innovation in the music business — this is just one of many new paths. Wired asked David Byrne — a legendary innovator himself and the man who wrote the Talking Heads song "Radio Head" from which the group takes its name — to talk with Yorke about the In Rainbows distribution strategy and what others can learn from the experience.

Byrne: OK.

Yorke: [To assistant.] Shut the bloody door.

Byrne: Well, nice record, very nice record.

Yorke: Thank you. Wicked.

Byrne: [Laughs.]

Yorke: That's it, isn't it?

Byrne: That's it, we're done. [Laughs.] OK. I'll start by asking some of the business stuff. What you did with this record wasn't traditional, not even in the sense of sending advance copies out to the press and such.

Yorke: The way we termed it was "our leak date." Every record for the last four — including my solo record — has been leaked. So the idea was like, we'll leak it, then.

Byrne: Previously there'd be a release date, and advance copies would get sent to reviewers months ahead of that.

Yorke: Yeah, and then you'd ring up and say, "Did you like it? What did you think?" And it's three months in advance. And then it'd be, "Would you go do this for this magazine," and maybe this journalist has heard it. All these silly games.

Radiohead performs "Bodysnatchers."

Byrne: That's mainly about the charts, right? About gearing marketing and prerelease to the moment a record comes out so that — boom! — it goes into the charts.

Yorke: That's what major labels do, yeah. But it does us no good, because we don't cross over [to other fan bases]. The main thing was, there's all this bollocks [with the media]. We were trying to avoid that whole game of who gets in first with the reviews. These days there's so much paper to fill, or digital paper to fill, that whoever writes the first few things gets cut and pasted. Whoever gets their opinion in first has all that power. Especially for a band like ours, it's totally the luck of the draw whether that person is into us or not. It just seems wildly unfair, I think.

Byrne (left) and Yorke in Radiohead's Oxford offices.
Photo: James Day

Byrne: So this bypasses all those reviewers and goes straight to the fans.

Yorke: In a way, yeah. And it was a thrill. We mastered it, and two days later it was on the site being, you know, preordered. That was just a really exciting few weeks to have that direct connection.

Byrne: And letting people choose their own price?

Radiohead performs "Jigsaw."

Yorke: That was [manager Chris Hufford's] idea. We all thought he was barmy. As we were putting up the site, we were still saying, "Are you sure about this?" But it was really good. It released us from something. It wasn't nihilistic, implying that the music's not worth anything at all. It was the total opposite. And people took it as it was meant. Maybe that's just people having a little faith in what we're doing.

Byrne: And that works for you guys. You have an audience ready. Like me — if I hear there's something new of yours out there, I'll just go and buy it without poking around about what the reviews say.

Yorke: Well, yeah. The only reason we could even get away with this, the only reason anyone even gives a shit, is the fact that we've gone through the whole mill of the business in the first place. It's not supposed to be a model for anything else. It was simply a response to a situation. We're out of contract. We have our own studio. We have this new server. What the hell else would we do? This was the obvious thing. But it only works for us because of where we are.

Byrne: What about bands that are just getting started?

"Don't sign a huge contract that strips you of all your digital rights ..."

Yorke: Well, first and foremost, you don't sign a huge record contract that strips you of all your digital rights, so that when you do sell something on iTunes you get absolutely zero. That would be the first priority. If you're an emerging artist, it must be frightening at the moment. Then again, I don't see a downside at all to big record companies not having access to new artists, because they have no idea what to do with them now anyway.

Byrne: It should be a load off their minds.

Yorke: Exactly.

Byrne: I've been asking myself: Why put together these things — CDs, albums? The answer I came up with is, well, sometimes it's artistically viable. It's not just a random collection of songs. Sometimes the songs have a common thread, even if it's not obvious or even conscious on the artists' part. Maybe it's just because everybody's thinking musically in the same way for those couple of months.

Yorke: Or years.

Byrne: However long it takes. And other times, there's an obvious...

Yorke: ... Purpose.

Byrne: Right. Probably the reason it's a little hard to break away from the album format completely is, if you're getting a band together in the studio, it makes financial sense to do more than one song at a time. And it makes more sense, if you're going to all the effort of performing and doing whatever else, if there's a kind of bundle.

Yorke: Yeah, but the other thing is what that bundle can make. The songs can amplify each other if you put them in the right order.

"Do you know where your income comes from?"

Byrne: Do you know, more or less, where your income comes from? For me, it's probably very little from actual music or record sales. I make a little bit on touring and probably the most from licensing stuff. Not for commercials — I license to films and television shows and that sort of thing.

Yorke: Right. We make some doing that.

Byrne: And for some people, the overhead for touring is really low, so they make a lot on that and don't worry about anything else.

Yorke: We always go into a tour saying, "This time, we're not going to spend the money. This time we're going to do it stripped down." And then it's, "Oh, but we do need this keyboard. And these lights." But at the moment we make money principally from touring. Which is hard for me to reconcile because I don't like all the energy consumption, the travel. It's an ecological disaster, traveling, touring.

Byrne: Well, there are the biodiesel buses and all that.

Yorke: Yeah, it depends where you get your biodiesel from. There are ways to minimize it. We did one of those carbon footprint things recently where they assessed the last period of touring we did and tried to work out where the biggest problems were. And it was obviously everybody traveling to the shows.

Byrne: Oh, you mean the audience.

Yorke: Yeah. Especially in the US. Everybody drives. So how the hell are we going to address that? The idea is that we play in municipal places with some transport system alternative to cars. And minimize flying equipment, shipping everything. We can't be shipped, though.

Byrne: [Laughs.]

Yorke: If you go on the Queen Mary or something, that's actually worse than flying. So flying is your only option.

Byrne: Are you making money on the download of In Rainbows?

Yorke: In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever — in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.

Byrne: So when the album comes out as a physical CD in January, will you hire your own marketing firm?

"A, that's asking for trouble and B, it's snobbery ..."

Yorke: No. It starts to get a bit more traditional. When we first came up with the idea, we weren't going to do a normal physical CD at all. But after a while it was like, well, that's just snobbery. [Laughter.] A, that's asking for trouble, and B, it's snobbery. So now they're talking about putting it on the radio and that sort of thing. I guess that's normal.

Byrne: I've been thinking about how distribution and CDs and record shops and all that stuff are changing. But we're talking about music. What is music, what does music do for people? What do people get from it? What's it for? That's the thing that's being exchanged. Not all the other stuff. The other stuff is the shopping cart that holds some of it.

Yorke: It's a delivery service.

Byrne: But people will still pay to have that experience. You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends. By making a copy and handing it to your friends, you've established a relationship. The implication is that they're now obligated to give you something back.

Yorke: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was just thinking while you were saying that: How does a record company get their hands on that? It makes me think of the No Logo book where Naomi Klein describes how the Nike people would pay guys to get down with the kids on the street. I know for a fact that major record labels do the same thing. But no one has ever explained to me exactly how. I mean, do they lurk around in the discussion boards and post "Have you heard the..."? Maybe they do. And then I was thinking about that Johnny Cash film, when Cash walks in and says, "I want to do a live record in a prison," and his label thinks he's bonkers. Yet at the same time, it was able to somehow understand what kids wanted and give it to him. Whereas now, I think there's a lack of understanding. It's not about who's ripping off whom, and it's not about legal injunctions, and it's not about DRM and all that sort of stuff. It's about whether the music affects you or not. And why would you worry about an artist or a company going after people copying their music if the music itself is not valued?

Byrne: You're valuing the delivery system as opposed to the relationship and the emotional thing...

Yorke: You're valuing the company or the interest of the artists rather than the music itself. I don't know. We've always been quite naive. We don't have any alternative to doing this. It's the only obvious thing to do.

12-20-2007, 11:34 AM
way to step on my article about cockfighting with a really long thing that you've already posted elsewhere. hmph.

12-20-2007, 11:40 AM
cockfighting = :poo

12-20-2007, 02:04 PM
Monkeys, Too, Will Pay for Sex
Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Fair Trade? Dec. 19, 2007 -- People aren't the only primates who will pay for sex, new research shows. Male longtailed macaques exchange grooming for the right to mate with females whose fur they cleaned.

The findings, which have been accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior, present the first evidence that a "social market" influences sexual interaction in a non-human primate.

"I found that the amount of grooming a male performs on a female during a sexual interaction is related to the supply/demand ratio of females per male around the male-female pair at the time of the grooming," explained Michael Gumert, who conducted the research.

Put another way, male monkeys -- especially lower status ones -- have to groom more to get more action when fewer females are around. Grooming in macaques involves using the teeth and hands to pick through the fur of the recipient to remove dirt, tangles and parasites. The activity often sexually excites the monkeys, particularly the males, so many scientists suspect it evolved into foreplay in humans.

Gumert, a researcher in the Division of Psychology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, analyzed a wild population of longtailed macaques at Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, from 2003 to 2005. During this period he documented 243 male-to-female grooming sessions, most of which were directed at females who were receptive to mating.

The "grooming before sex" bouts lasted anywhere from a few seconds to a half hour or more, with the durations frequently linked to either the number of potential other partners or to the status of the groomer or recipient. According to Gumert, "rank does not remove the market, it only skews it."

"Powerful individuals can take more and give less than low-ranked individuals can," he said, suggesting that such corruption of the fair trade ideal appears to be an inherent facet of primate social life that can apply to everything from monkey sex to human politics. High-ranking females can also skew the system because, in the case of macaques, they demand more attention before they agree to mate.

Since males often have their work cut out for them, they also try to first "flirt" with females, using facial gestures before they approach.

"Being anthropomorphic, this may be like winking or smiling," he said. "The male bows and bobs his head, raises the eyebrows and smacks his lips at the female."

He also found that females will groom males at times, but that this behavior doesn't appear to be linked to sex. He suggests it instead may serve to forge bonds with certain males, which could later protect the female's offspring from other aggressive males without such a vested interest in her family.

Frans de Waal, a professor of psychology and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes Primate Center at Emory University in Atlanta, told Discovery News that the new study is "very well done and nicely applies the biological market concept to something new -- exchange of grooming for sex, or sex for grooming."

De Waal added, "We all know that primate males often do a bit of grooming before they mate with females, and that they groom very little if the female isn't fertile, but it is good to see such a thorough, quantified account of it."

Gumert experienced a similar fair trade in his own life, when he married an Indonesian woman in a traditional village ceremony. He provided nuptial gifts to her family, as well as a small dowry.

"I received no material gifts (in return)," Gumert said, "but I did get to marry my wife."

12-20-2007, 02:07 PM
I wonder how much or what kind of gift I would have to pay to have sex with a macaques.

12-20-2007, 07:53 PM
Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071220/lf_afp/usindigenoustreatywithdraw)

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.

They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.

The treaties signed with the United States are merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists say on their website.

The treaties have been "repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life," the reborn freedom movement says.

Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.

"This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

"It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent," said Means.

The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England.

Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row," Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.

"We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children," Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.

The US "annexation" of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere "facsimiles of white people," said Means.

Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies -- less than 44 years -- in the world.

Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.

"Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots," said Young.

"We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We are here to continue the struggle for our children and grandchildren," she said, predicting that the battle would not be won in her lifetime.

12-20-2007, 08:39 PM
way to step on my article about cockfighting with a really long thing that you've already posted elsewhere. hmph.

that was really long. links and i need to get reacquainted...

you gotta stay fresh. we need articles on dog fighting.... everybody loves puppies.... everybody is indifferent to any cock thats not their own.


12-24-2007, 09:31 AM
A combover is NOT a valid reason to oppose a candidate. (http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rev__rob_071223_endorsement_3a_joe_bid.htm)

12-24-2007, 02:59 PM
the queen's on youtube (http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=4048024&page=1).

Two years ago, she famously confessed to never having even used a computer, but now Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is keen to show the world that she is in step with the times. To prove it, she's become the first monarch to have her own YouTube channel.

The Web site, launched Sunday, with 18 videos showing state visits, royal garden parties and rarely seen footage of the 1923 wedding of the queen's parents.
Related Stories

But the most-viewed clip so far is newsreel footage of the queen's first televised Christmas speech -- the only speech she writes on her own, without government advice -- filmed five decades ago.

In 1957, when the queen decided to broadcast her annual Christmas message live to Britain and its remaining colonies, she spoke of her hopes that "this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct."

Her latest tryst with technology is believed to have emerged at her granddaughters' urging. According to the British newspaper The Observer, the queen was unfamiliar with the popular video-sharing Web site, until her granddaughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, sold her on the YouTube phenomenon.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said that "the queen always keeps abreast with new ways of communicating with people," pointing out that last year, her Christmas message was podcast as well as broadcast. This year the address will be simulcast live on TV and on the Web site.

From Broadcast to Webcast: A Monarch's Journey

According to Camilla Tominey, royal editor of the British tabloid the Sunday Express, the queen has expressed a desire to "embrace new media."



01-02-2008, 06:49 AM
Next year's internet trend: lolcats that glow in the dark. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/screwing-with-nature/glow+in+the+dark-cats-could-make-for-a-unique-home-lighting-solution-333252.php

« || next »screwing with nature
Glow-in-the-Dark Cats Could Make For a Unique Home Lighting Solution
Scientists at the Gyeongsang National University in South Korea have cloned cats that have the ability to glow-in-the dark when exposed to ultraviolet light. By inserting a virus into the skin cells of a mother cat and placing those contaminated cells into the womb, scientists were able to prove that it was possible to clone an animal with a manipulated gene. Apparently, this development could allow for a better understanding of human genetic diseases in the future. But what about the benefits of glowing cats?

If you ask me, cats that could truly glow-in-the-dark would make for an unique and styilsh night-light. And, much like the new Litrospheres, they last for about 12 years. The only downside is that the latter requires no power source while cats require a steady diet. Still, the crazy cat lady down the street could have the most power efficient house in town.

01-02-2008, 07:37 AM
didn't we have that already?

01-02-2008, 07:39 AM
Did we? Could be. I just saw the story today, looked fresh. Oh well.

01-03-2008, 08:10 AM

L'il Wayne and High School Musical 3. what a weird article.

01-03-2008, 08:13 AM
"What's up, my *****?'" Efron says, giving Wayne a pound, a hug, and then, to my astonishment, a full-on kiss reminiscent of the one Wayne famously gave his surrogate father Baby last year. (Needless to say, it's clear that Efron is going to have to work harder to squelch rumors surrounding his sexuality"

hahahaha that is a great article.

01-03-2008, 08:15 AM

01-03-2008, 09:37 AM
i think in the latest issue of Vibe, he mentions it was a father son type kiss. He said Reverend run kisses his kids like that all the time on his show, but when his Birdman whose 'like a father to him" does it, everyone calls him a ***.

Lil Wayne looks like that killer Leperchaun to me.

01-03-2008, 09:40 AM
Man kiss is the new tight pounds.

full on idle
01-03-2008, 10:39 AM
I cannot believe that article is real. But at the same time I can. He's a fucking alien, man. I love him. I fucking love him.

01-03-2008, 04:12 PM
Law student, pageant princess -- and kidnapping suspect

***The picture of the girl involved is priceless and for good measure I have posted the pictures of the men involved as well***

TUSCON, Arizona (AP) -- A law school student and former beauty pageant contestant who has posed for a racy calendar while brandishing a weapon has been accused of kidnapping, biting and threatening a former boyfriend with a handgun.

Kumari Fulbright, 25, who is midway through her second year in law school, faces a long prison term if convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault.

Fulbright, who competed for the Miss Arizona title in 2005 and 2006, recently completed a semester-long unpaid stint clerking for a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins, his office said.

She also poses wearing a shiny black bikini in a 2008 calendar that features women holding guns.

In the December 18 indictment, Fulbright is accused of holding and torturing her 24-year-old ex-boyfriend in early December with the help of three other men, including another man she had previously dated.

Authorities think the dispute began because the ex-boyfriend was believed to have stolen jewelry given to Fulbright by the former beau suspected of helping in the attack.

Fulbright invited the man to her apartment, then excused herself to shower, said police spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco. Then two men showed up and bound him with plastic ties and duct tape, accused him of taking the jewelry, and threatened to shoot him with pistols, Pacheco said.

When Fulbright finished her shower, she allegedly bit the man on his forearm, right hand and ear, held a butcher knife to his head, and told him she was going to kill him.

Authorities said the man was taken to another home, where the assault continued, then taken back to Fulbright's house, where she guarded him with a gun.

The man finally managed to free a hand and grabbed the gun, which discharged but hit no one, authorities said. As their struggle spilled outside, the man screamed for help, then ran to a home down the block, while Fulbright returned to her apartment, Pacheo said.

"He has some bite marks on him, evident and consistent with his account, and his hands were red and swollen, consistent with someone who had been tied up," Pacheco said.

A police complaint said the suspects stole the victim's wallet, money clip with $500 to $600, and his cell phone and briefcase.

Fulbright's phone is out of service and her apartment was unoccupied Wednesday, without any furniture. Efforts also were made to contact her through MySpace.com.

Tucson police also are seeking to serve her former boyfriend, Robert Ergonis, 44, and his brother, Michael Ergonis, 46, with arrest warrants charging them with kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated assault, but believe they may have fled the country. Telephone numbers for the brothers were not listed.

Larry Hammond, 40, who was indicted with Fulbright, remains jailed under $50,000 bond, but Fulbright was freed after arranging to have a similar bond posted. Officials at the Pima County jail were unable to provide the name of Hammond's attorney late Wednesday.

Calls to Fulbright's attorney, Thomas Hartzell, and to the Miss Pima County pageant, which Fulbright won in 2005, were not returned. She also was selected Miss Desert Sun in 2006.

A spokeswoman for the University of Arizona, where Fulbright attends, said it was premature to talk about what could occur in terms of discipline. She and other faculty members declined further comment, citing student privacy.




01-04-2008, 06:20 AM
La. men claim buffet eatery banned them Thu Jan 3, 8:33 AM ET

HOUMA, La. - A 265-pound man says a restaurant overcharged him for his trips to the buffet, then banned him and a relative because of how much they consumed during their visits.

Ricky Labit, a 6-foot-3 disabled offshore worker, said he had been a regular at the Manchuria Restaurant, eating there as often as three times a week. But on his most recent visit, he said a waitress gave him and his wife's cousin, Michael Borrelli, a bill for $46.40, roughly double the buffet price for two adults.

"She says, 'Y'all fat, and y'all eat too much,'" Labit said.

Labit and Borrelli said they felt discriminated against because of their size.

"I was stunned, that somebody would say something like that. I ain't that fat, I only weigh 277," Borrelli said.

Accountant Thomas Campo, who spoke for the restaurant because the owner's English is limited, said the men were charged an extra $10 each on Dec. 21 because they made a habit of dining exclusively on the more expensive seafood dishes, including crab legs and frog legs.

"We have a lot of big people there," Campo said. "We don't discriminate."

The argument over the bill grew heated, and police were called. The police report states that the disagreement was settled when the restaurant said the bill was a mistake and, to appease Labit, the meal was complimentary.

Labit said he insisted on paying but was told not to come back. He complained that when seafood on the buffet line runs out, the restaurant only grudgingly cooks more. Campo said the proprietress tries to reduce waste of quality food.

01-04-2008, 11:31 AM

Stomach Flu Spread By Contaminated Computer Keyboards By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Thu Jan 3, 5:03 PM ET

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The highly contagious norovirus, often called the stomach flu, can be passed from one person to another through contact with commonly shared items such as computer keyboards and computer mice, U.S. health officials report.

The virus, which is common in winter and is the most frequent cause of outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea in the United States, is often contracted in schools, at work and on cruise ships.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on a norovirus outbreak at a Washington, D.C., elementary school last February in which some of the victims picked up the virus from contaminated computer equipment.

"There is evidence that shared objects and surfaces help transmit disease," said Dr. Shua Chai, a CDC epidemiologist and co-author of the report, published in the Jan. 4 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

"This is the first time that we have demonstrated that keyboards and computer mice can be a source of transmission of norovirus," he added.

Of the 314 students and 66 staffers at the D.C. school, 103 came down with the illness -- 79 students and 24 staff members. To find the sources of contamination, samples were taken from various surfaces around the school. In one first-grade classroom, a computer mouse and keyboard tested positive for norovirus, according to the report.

The virus can live on surfaces for several days, Chai said. To prevent infection with the virus, people should wash their hands after using shared objects, and computer keyboards and mice should be disinfected regularly with diluted bleach, he said.

"In addition, people who are ill should stay home for one to three days after they have had their last symptom, because they continue to shed the virus and can still contaminate objects," Chai added.

One infectious disease expert said norovirus is a common infection, second only to the common cold.

"These outbreaks are extremely common, and they occur in a variety of settings," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, distinguished service professor, chairman of the department of preventive medicine and community health, and director of the master of public health program at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, in New York City.

Most outbreaks are food-borne, Imperato said. "A smaller percentage are due to person-to-person contact, and an even smaller proportion are water-borne," he said. "Outbreaks in schools account for about 12 percent of all the outbreaks."

Contamination of surfaces such as computer keyboards is fairly common, Imperato added.

Norovirus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea that can last for several days. The virus is usually not serious, and most people get better without treatment. However, it can be life-threatening to infants, older people and those with weakened immune systems.

In New York City, an outbreak of norovirus has been ongoing since November. Some 500 infected people have been showing up each day at emergency rooms around the city, health department officials said.

"The best way to stop the spread of norovirus is to wash your hands regularly with soap and stay home from work or school if you are sick," Dr. Sharon Balter, director of enteric disease for the New York City Health Department's Bureau of Communicable Disease, said in a prepared statement. "Norovirus is common at this time of year and is not serious for most people, but it is important to take these steps to keep others from getting sick."

Imperato agreed. "Hand-washing remains the foundation of preventing the spread of norovirus," he said.

For more on norovirus, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

01-04-2008, 11:31 AM
nice...people need to wash their damn hands....

01-04-2008, 11:31 AM

01-04-2008, 01:55 PM

Gigs & Bytes:
Downloading the Amoeba Music Way
Friday, Jan 4, 2008 1:01PM

In an age where traditional brick-and-mortar record stores share space on the endangered species list with 8-track tapes and VCRs, one company seems to get only bigger and better while others downsize or fade away into retail history.
Known throughout the world as the go-to store for rare vinyl, obscure CDs and hard-to-find merch, Amoeba Music started with one store in Berkeley, Calif., in 1990 and quickly grew to ... well, three stores, with locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles in addition to the company's East Bay starter city.
But don't let the small number of outlets fool you. As chain retail music stores claw and scratch for every little bit of sales turf they can hold on to, Amoeba keeps building customer loyalty (and sales figures) the old-fashioned way – by keeping customers satisfied.
And that's why the company's first digital download promotion is newsworthy. When you have a company that prides itself on the personal touch and in-store atmosphere, the very idea that the same company is trying something as modern as digital downloads is pretty amazing.
But then, this is digital downloading the Amoeba way, which isn't quite the same as buying from Napster, Amazon MP3 or iTunes.
Matter of fact, Amoeba's first downloading venture isn't even about buying at all. Instead, it's about giving away free music in hopes that people will buy music.
Amoeba launched its own record label, Amoeba Records, in 2007 and is now on the verge of issuing its first two releases on the Amoeba imprint: Gram Parsons & The Flying Burrito Bros. Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969 and Brandi Shearer's upcoming album, Closer To Dark. To promote both releases, Amoeba is giving away free downloads from each album.
However, there is a catch. While the downloads are free, they are not archived, and there won't be an opportunity to grab either album in its entirety in one single download. Instead, you gotta play along with Amoeba, which means going back to the company's Web site every two weeks for the next round of freebies.
"If you don't want to pay for the CD, you can get it this way and it's legit," Amoeba co-founder Dave Prinz told Pollstar. "So, over the course of 26 weeks you can get the first side for free and we don't have any problem with that. We hope over that time maybe you'll decide to buy the CD ... But if you don't buy anything, that's cool too. It doesn't really matter. At least we're getting Gram out there to the world and letting people see how great a singer he really was without having to pay. And if they like him, they can pay."
The first round of downloads featured Shearer doing a version of Parsons' "Hickory Wind," which was recorded during an Amoeba in-store appearance by the artist, and The Flying Burrito Bros. doing "Close Up The Honkey-Tonks." As the promotion started during the holiday season, you could also snag a download of Shearer doing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."
"This is sort of a midway point between what Radiohead did and ... nothing," Prinz said. "I can't see doing what [Radiohead] did. You're relying too much on the public to do the right thing."
Along with enticing visitors to return to Amoeba's Web site by making them come back every two weeks for more free downloads, the company / fledgling record label is also demonstrating its promotion acumen by bundling its up-and-coming artist with the legend that is Gram Parsons.
"Once upon a time, there was a girl singer who nobody had ever heard of and nobody would have ever heard of if Gram hadn't brought the public's attention to her," Prinz said. "And that girl was Emmylou Harris. If it wasn't for Gram she never would have been heard. She was singing in the back room at the Cellar Door in Washington, D.C. And the front room wasn't that big.
"In my heart, I'm hoping that Gram's fans, through this promotion, can hear Gram for free, and hear Brandi, too, and say, ‘Wow! That girl can really sing!' And from afar, from another place, Gram will help one more great girl singer be heard."
There is an Amoeba download store in the company's grand plan. But because Amoeba doesn't quite operate like most record stores, it's a sure bet its download store will be somewhat different from the current breed of online music services.
"Hopefully, it will be just like your experience going into the store," Prinz said. "You'll go to an artist you like, or some genre you like, and find something you didn't know existed, and go ‘Wow! I need that!'
"Our download site will be the kind of site where you'll have that same kind of experience. ‘Oh, look! There's a really cool picture sleeve I can download. Or The Beatles singing ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand' in Italian!' Just crazy stuff that you can't get anywhere else."
With no announced beta testing or even a tentative launch date, Prinz indicated that an Amoeba Music download store will be ready when it's ready, and not a moment sooner. Kind of like those old Orson Welles TV ads from 30 years back where the entertainment legend boasted that a certain winery would "sell no wine before its time." Meanwhile, Prinz and the Amoeba staff continue to nurture that small-store image known around the world.
"Almost every day in L.A. a tour bus pulls up in front of our store and ... Japanese kids come into our store. In the course of a year that's like, maybe, 7,000 kids, right? In seven years that's 50,000 Japanese kids coming into our store," Prinz said.
"So, we're not unknown. Around the world a lot of people do know us. To really experience [Amoeba], you have to come to the store. Maybe we can create a little bit of that online for everybody else. There's really no in-between for us. Either we do a great online site or we don't do anything. We're working on it. Hopefully, it will be ready – one of these days."

01-09-2008, 07:57 AM
you just cannot make shit like this (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22565251/?GT1=10755) up:

The corpse in the chair was a dead giveaway
Pair wheels dead man to store to cash his Social Security check, police say
updated 9:44 p.m. MT, Tues., Jan. 8, 2008

NEW YORK - Two men wheeled a dead man through the streets in an office chair to a check-cashing store Tuesday and tried to cash his Social Security check before being arrested on fraud charges, police said.

David J. Dalaia and James O'Hare pushed Virgilio Cintron's body from the Manhattan apartment that O'Hare and Cintron shared to Pay-O-Matic, about a block away, spokesman Paul Browne said witnesses told police.

"The witnesses saw the two pushing the chair with Cintron flopping from side to side and the two individuals propping him up and keeping him from flopping from side to side," Browne said.

The men left Cintron's body outside the store, went inside and tried to cash his $355 check, Browne said. The store's clerk, who knew Cintron, asked the men where he was, and O'Hare told the clerk they would go and get him, Browne said.

A police detective who was having lunch at a restaurant next to the check-cashing store noticed a crowd forming around Cintron's body, and "it's immediately apparent to him that Cintron is dead," Browne said.

The detective called uniformed New York Police Department officers at a nearby precinct. Emergency medical technicians arrived as O'Hare and Dalaia were preparing to wheel Cintron's body into the check-cashing store, Browne said. Police arrested Dalaia and O'Hare there, he said.

Cintron's body was taken to a hospital morgue. The medical examiner's office told police it appeared Cintron, 66, had died of natural causes within the previous 24 hours, Browne said.

"He was deceased in the apartment when he was removed by these two," Browne said.

Dalaia and O'Hare, both 65, were being held by police and faced check fraud charges, Browne said.

A call to a telephone number listed for Cintron at the apartment he shared with O'Hare went unanswered Tuesday evening. Police said they didn't have an address for Dalaia or attorney information for him or O'Hare.

01-10-2008, 09:28 AM
Stay classy.....San Diego

Viejas tribe plans major concert venue
It also will be partner of big-time promoter
By George Varga

January 9, 2008

The transformation of Viejas Casino in Alpine into a major, all-in-one resort and tourist destination is shifting into higher gear. A partnership with prestigious Nederlander Concerts and a proposal to build a major new concert facility will attract leading pop acts and help position Viejas as a mini-Las Vegas in a rural setting.

The concert venue seating between 8,000 and 12,000 would complement – but not be a part of – the $800 million expansion program announced in August by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

CRISSY PASCUAL / Union-Tribune
In September, the annual San Diego Music Awards ceremony was held at Viejas Concerts in the Park in Alpine.
The tribe owns and operates Viejas Casino and its adjacent retail outlet center and open-air Concerts in the Park venue. That expansion will include the addition of a second casino, a 600-room hotel, a spa, a conference center, a multiplex movie theater, restaurants, two parking structures and a new power plant.

“As we move forward with our resort plans, we will work with industry partners such as Nederlander to create a showcase entertainment destination that will include the very best in gaming, recreation and leisure,” Viejas Chairman Bobby Barrett said yesterday.

“All of these elements will work together to create a complete entertainment package. With the new resort plan, we'll move to bigger and better things, so this new venue complements the new resort,” he added.

Meanwhile, Viejas and Nederlander hope to present a combined 50 to 60 concerts this year at the Concerts in the Park site and the DreamCatcher Lounge, which has a capacity of 750 and is within the nearby casino.

Los Angeles-based Nederlander Concerts, a division of New York's Nederlander Organization, exclusively operates the 5,800-seat Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and the 4,562-seat Santa Barbara Bowl. It also books concerts in other states and at more than a dozen California venues.

“Nederlander is the company that really founded the modern amphitheater business in this country,” Gary Bongiovanni, the publisher of Pollstar, the concert industry's leading weekly publication, said yesterday.

“They are not (industry leader) Live Nation, but they are a major player on a national scale. I think it was a very smart move on Viejas' part to make a deal with another significant promoter, rather than book concerts on their own. Nederlander does lots of shows in the summer, especially at the Greek Theatre, so I think they'll make offers to do multiple shows with the same act and include Viejas.”

The proposed new venue would pit Viejas and Nederlander against Live Nation, which owns and operates the 19,492-capacity Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista. It would also spur competition with the recently opened San Diego division of AEG Live, the nation's second-largest concert promoter. Until last summer, nearly all of what is now the AEG Live staff here was employed by Viejas Entertainment.

AEG Live last month signed a deal with Qualcomm Stadium to stage a 2008 pop concert series adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium, on what used to be the San Diego Chargers' practice field. To be known as AEG Live Concerts on the Green, that venue will have a general admission capacity of 13,000.

The capacity of the proposed new Viejas venue and its location on the 1,600-acre reservation have yet to be determined. It may be open-air or a year-round, indoor facility.

The venue could be built and open as early as next year, pending approval from the Viejas Band's general membership, although no formal presentation has yet been made to members.

“This year is probably the last season we'll be at the Concerts in the Park site in Alpine,” said Anthony San Pietro, who last August was named president of Viejas Entertainment and Production.

“We're building a new venue, based on master planning now being done. We were going to open it this summer, but . . . it's not part of the casino expansion. So we don't want to take up any land that we need for (expansion) construction or have any negative environmental impact.”

This year's musical bill of fare includes major rock, pop, country, comedy and R&B artists at both current Alpine venues. Viejas and Nederlander also plan to co-present concerts at other local sites, including the San Diego Sports Arena, where the two companies staged a concert by the rock bands Slayer and Marilyn Manson last August.

Nederlander could use its clout to bring in artists who rarely perform in San Diego, such as Bruce Springsteen.

“We've worked well with Nederlander in the past and are absolutely looking forward to working with them this year and in years to come,” said Barrett, the Viejas chairman.

Nederlander in turn regards Viejas' two current concert sites in Alpine as “flagship” venues that will bolster its presence in San Diego and add to the growing number of venues it owns or operates here and in neighboring states.

“We've been in the San Diego market for years and have done dates at the Sports Arena, Civic Theatre, UCSD's RIMAC Arena and other venues, which were all successful. But we didn't have a (venue) to present live music that we had exclusive rights to,” said Nederlander Concerts CEO Adam Friedman, who played a key role in launching Coors Amphitheatre in 1998, when he worked for the now-defunct Universal Concerts.

“If we're doing shows at the Honda Center in Anaheim or the Forum or Sports Arena in Los Angeles, and it makes sense for us to offer that artist to Viejas to present (off-reservation), we will. We consider them a market partner, not just at the reservation but throughout San Diego. And I think Viejas' concert facilities will benefit from our booking similar venues up and down the coast.”

Bongiovanni, the Pollstar publisher, shares that view. “This will bolster the market in San Diego, because now you have another very active promoter looking to do shows there,” he said.

“For the average fan, it will probably be a good thing. There will be more choices of entertainment,” Bongiovanni said.

“And when an American Indian tribe does a show on-site at its casino, they are usually more interested in attracting people to gamble and are not living and dying off the ticket price. That might make it a little more fan-friendly, knowing they don't have to jack up ticket prices.”

01-10-2008, 09:45 AM
I wonder if that is where Radiohead will be playing?

01-10-2008, 11:20 PM

01-11-2008, 07:21 AM

Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008
Vinyl Gets Its Groove Back
By Kristina Dell

From college dorm rooms to high school sleepovers, an all-but-extinct music medium has been showing up lately. And we don't mean CDs. Vinyl records, especially the full-length LPs that helped define the golden era of rock in the 1960s and '70s, are suddenly cool again. Some of the new fans are baby boomers nostalgic for their youth. But to the surprise and delight of music executives, increasing numbers of the iPod generation are also purchasing turntables (or dusting off Dad's), buying long-playing vinyl records and giving them a spin.

Like the comeback of Puma sneakers or vintage T shirts, vinyl's resurgence has benefited from its retro-rock aura. Many young listeners discovered LPs after they rifled through their parents' collections looking for oldies and found that they liked the warmer sound quality of records, the more elaborate album covers and liner notes that come with them, and the experience of putting one on and sharing it with friends, as opposed to plugging in some earbuds and listening alone. "Bad sound on an iPod has had an impact on a lot of people going back to vinyl," says David MacRunnel, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Creve Coeur, Mo., who owns more than 1,000 records.

The music industry, hoping to find another revenue source that doesn't easily lend itself to illegal downloads, has happily jumped on the bandwagon. Contemporary artists like the Killers and Ryan Adams have begun issuing their new releases on vinyl in addition to the CD and MP3 formats. As an extra lure, many labels are including coupons for free audio downloads with their vinyl albums so that Generation Y music fans can get the best of both worlds: high-quality sound at home and iPod portability for the road. Also, vinyl's different shapes (hearts, triangles) and eye-catching designs (bright colors, sparkles) are created to appeal to a younger audience. While new records sell for about $14, used LPs go for as little as a penny--perfect for a teenager's budget--or as much as $2,400 for a collectible, autographed copy of Beck's Steve Threw Up.

Vinyl records are just a small scratch on the surface when it comes to total album sales--only about 0.2%, compared to 10% for digital downloads and 89.7% for CDs, according to Nielsen SoundScan--but these numbers may underrepresent the vinyl trend since they don't always include sales at smaller indie shops where vinyl does best. Still, 990,000 vinyl albums were sold in 2007, up 15.4% from the 858,000 units bought in 2006. Mike Dreese, CEO of Newbury Comics, a New England chain of independent music retailers that sells LPs and CDs, says his vinyl sales were up 37% last year, and Patrick Amory, general manager of indie label Matador Records, whose artists include Cat Power and the New Pornographers, claims, "We can't keep up with the demand."

Big players are starting to take notice too. "It's not a significant part of our business, but there is enough there for me to take someone and have half their time devoted to making vinyl a real business," says John Esposito, president and CEO of WEA Corp., the U.S. distribution company of Warner Music Group, which posted a 30% increase in LP sales last year. In October, Amazon.com introduced a vinyl-only store and increased its selection to 150,000 titles across 20 genres. Its biggest sellers? Alternative rock, followed by classic rock albums. "I'm not saying vinyl will become a mainstream format, just like gourmet eating is not going to take over from McDonald's," says Michael Fremer, senior contributing editor at Stereophile. "But there is a growing group of people who are going back to a high-resolution format." Here are some of the reasons they're doing it and why you might want to consider it:

Sound quality LPs generally exhibit a warmer, more nuanced sound than CDs and digital downloads. MP3 files tend to produce tinnier notes, especially if compressed into a lower-resolution format that pares down the sonic information. "Most things sound better on vinyl, even with the crackles and pops and hisses," says MacRunnel, the young Missouri record collector.

Album extras Large album covers with imaginative graphics, pullout photos (some even have full-size posters tucked in the sleeve) and liner notes are a big draw for young fans. "Alternative rock used to have 16-page booklets and album sleeves, but with iTunes there isn't anything collectible to show I own a piece of this artist," says Dreese of Newbury Comics. In a nod to modern technology, albums known as picture discs come with an image of the band or artist printed on the vinyl. "People who are used to CDs see the artwork and the colored vinyl, and they think it's really cool," says Jordan Yates, 15, a Nashville-based vinyl enthusiast. Some LP releases even come with bonus tracks not on the CD version, giving customers added value.

Social experience Crowding around a record player to listen to a new album with friends, discussing the foldout photos, even getting up to flip over a record makes vinyl a more socially interactive way to enjoy music. "As far as a communal experience, like with family and friends, it feels better to listen to vinyl," says Jason Bini, 24, a recent graduate of Fordham University. "It's definitely more social."

01-11-2008, 08:18 AM
If your twin was hot would you fuck him/her? Marry him/her? (http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=83537&in_page_id=34)

01-11-2008, 08:53 AM
Wow that sux...


Poland: What Are You Doing Here?
Published: January 10, 2008

“I thought I was dreaming,” a Warsaw man told the newspaper Super Express after he visited a brothel and saw his wife among the establishment’s employees. The paper said she had told her husband that she worked at a store in a nearby town. The couple, married 14 years, are divorcing.

01-14-2008, 06:20 AM
Bjork attacks photographer in New Zealand Mon Jan 14, 3:59 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Icelandic pop singer Bjork attacked a news photographer in New Zealand, ripping his shirt in half after he ignored a request not to snap any shots, the New Zealand Herald reported on Monday.

The incident took place at Auckland International Airport on Sunday, after the musician had flown in for a concert later in the week, the paper said. It echoes an outburst at Bangkok's airport in 1996, when Bjork unleashed her fury on a journalist.

Glenn Jeffrey, a photographer with the Herald, told the paper Bjork was accompanied by a man who asked him not to take photographs.

"I took a couple of pictures and I got about three or four frames of her ... and as I turned and walked away she came up behind me, grabbed the back of my black skivvy (sweatshirt) and tore it down the back," he said. "As she did this she fell over, she fell to the ground. At no stage did I touch her or speak with her."

Bjork said nothing during the confrontation, but her companion pleaded with her to stop, Jeffrey said.

The Herald's Web site reported later that neither the newspaper nor Jeffrey plans to file charges against Bjork, and an Auckland police spokesman said it was not investigating the incident.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech)

01-14-2008, 09:23 AM
Canadian drug victim sues dealer

A Canadian woman has successfully sued the dealer who sold her an illegal street drug that put her in a coma.

Sandra Bergen, 23, suffered a heart attack and spent 11 days in a coma after taking crystal methamphetamine.

Ms Bergen said Clinton Davey had known the drug was highly addictive and dangerous but sold it to make money.

Mr Davey refused to name his source of the drug, prompting the Saskatchewan judge to reject his defence - that Ms Bergen had taken the drug voluntarily.

'Hit drug dealers'

Ms Bergen is seeking $50,000 (£25,000) in compensation. A date for a hearing to determine damages has not been set.

"I sued him for negligence... for selling me drugs and getting me hooked when I was vulnerable," Ms Bergen told the French news agency AFP.

She said she hoped her case would inspire others to sue drug dealers.

"I think it's a different way to hit drug dealers financially and that's where it will really hurt them," she told CTV news.

Ms Bergen and Mr Davey were friends from childhood.

In her statement of claim, she said he "knew the drug was highly addictive" and that his dealing was not only "for the purpose of making money but was also for the purpose of intentionally inflicting physical and mental suffering" on her.

In his defence, Mr Davey had argued that Ms Bergen "voluntarily consumed illegal drugs, thus contributing to her own condition."

"She assumed the risks," he said.

Ms Bergen became addicted to drugs when she was 18, CTV news said. She overdosed in 2004 in the province of Saskatchewan shortly before her 20th birthday.

In hospital she was hooked up to a respirator. She said she suffered lung, heart, kidney and liver failure and may never be able to have children.

She said she has since stopped taking drugs.

01-16-2008, 06:25 AM
Stephen Merritt and.. Lemony Snicket?


For a Musical Polymath, Only the Wardrobe Color Stays the Same

Published: January 15, 2008

“I have a strange relationship to variety,” the singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt said recently, as he sat at a West Village cafe meticulously tearing a croissant into little bits. He was discussing his wardrobe — absolutely all of his clothing is in a white-to-brown color palette (more on that later) — but also his career. In music, at least, “I like variety,” Mr. Merritt said.

He is best known as the guiding light of the Magnetic Fields, the orchestral pop group behind “69 Love Songs,” a 1999 album of just that. It made many best-of lists for its bitterly smart lyricism and musical-survey style. But he’s also a founder of several other groups, including Future Bible Heroes (1980s electro-pop), the 6ths (a collaboration with other singers) and the Gothic Archies (to showcase his own mopey bass voice).

“I think his work is pop in the best sense of that word,” said Jon Nakagawa, a producer of contemporary programming at Lincoln Center who worked with Mr. Merritt on the American Songbook series, where his performances drew multigenerational audiences.

Clothing notwithstanding, Mr. Merritt is a man of broad tastes. He has composed operas for Lincoln Center; D.J.’s regularly at Beauty Bar on East 14th Street, where he spins vintage bubble gum and psychedelia; and performs occasionally with the Three Terrors, a retro concept group. He is also working on a movie musical with his accordionist Daniel Handler, better known as the author Lemony Snicket, and a musical adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novella “Coraline” with the playwright David Greenspan. For the moment, though, he is most focused on the latest Magnetic Fields album, “Distortion” (Nonesuch), out on Tuesday.

Like many of Mr. Merritt’s projects it is bounded by a theme, described in its title. “I always have to put strictures on myself because otherwise the possibilities are too unlimited,” Mr. Merritt said. (The song titles on “i,” from 2004, all begin with the letter I.) “Distortion” is more self-consciously pop than much of his earlier work, though the melodies are tucked under layers of feedback. Its 13 songs are built around piano, accordion, cello and guitar, looped through ad hoc feedback devices, like cigarette-pack amplifiers tied to the instruments with shoelaces. He rejected the easy way out — using a distortion box — because it sounded “cheesy,” he said.

He wanted “Distortion” to sound like “Psychocandy,” the abrasive 1985 debut album by the Scottish group the Jesus and Mary Chain. “I feel like ‘Psychocandy’ is the last significant event in pop music production,” Mr. Merritt said. “It’s the last album that sounded shockingly new, to me anyway.”

As a Magnetic Fields reference, it’s also shockingly recent. Mr. Merritt prefers older music — “I cannot name a record by anyone in 2007,” he said — and considers Stephen Sondheim a contemporary. (Mr. Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” film soundtrack is also on Nonesuch.) “I aspire to be lumped in with Irving Berlin.”

His musical tastes have been a lightning rod in the past. In a 2004 post on his personal blog, Sasha Frere-Jones, a New Yorker music critic, pointedly criticized Mr. Merritt because he had shortchanged black artists in two published lists of Mr. Merritt’s favorite music. Recently, after he said at a music conference that he liked “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” from the 1946 Disney movie “Song of the South,” a film many believe to be racist, another critic implied he was prejudiced. Mr. Merritt rolled his eyes when asked about these controversies, and refused to comment. “I regret that I entered the whole debate, talking trash,” Mr. Frere-Jones said in an interview, adding that though he believes there is a larger discussion to be had about prejudice and musical preference, he bears Mr. Merritt no ill will. “I think that ‘I hate California girls’ song” — from “Distortion” — “is pretty cool.”

Like Rufus Wainwright, another literate singer-songwriter with a rabid following, he is not shy about announcing his desire for wealth. Though he deplores contemporary pop singing styles — he said “melisma” as if it tasted bad — he hopes to write a song for the likes of Beyoncé or Celine Dion. “Ideally, I would have some song of mine covered by both Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston,” he said. Last year he sang a jingle in a Volvo ad.

But unlike Mr. Wainwright, Mr. Merritt is not going to achieve his stardom through big performances and world tours. In part because he has hyperacusis in his left ear, which makes him sensitive to loud sounds, he doesn’t like performing live. When he must, he plays acoustically, uses no monitors and plugs his ear during applause. (To his chagrin the Magnetic Fields are doing a few short residencies around the country starting next month. They are scheduled to perform at Town Hall in Manhattan Feb. 21 to 24.)

Not that Mr. Merritt is much of a rock star anyway. “His demeanor is so very different from musicians who I know,” Mr. Handler, who has toured with Mr. Merritt, said. “He doesn’t want to stay up all night drinking beer with other bands. But he’s always the first to bring cognac and discuss Henry James.”

Which brings us back to Mr. Merritt’s aesthetic sense. He started dressing in brown about five years ago. “It’s going really well,” he said. “I had a green shirt that looked brown when I bought it, but I recently got rid of it.” All his pants are khakis. His homes — he has an apartment in New York and house and studio in Los Angeles — are decorated in brown and bright red. “If I didn’t make these decisions ahead of time, because my tastes tend to be sort of eclectic, I would have disasters,” Mr. Merritt said. “This is not an O.C.D. thing. This is a way of warding off what other people regard as horrendous, egregious errors in taste.”

Apparently, he’s right. “I knew him during the all-black phase, I knew him during the Hawaiian-shirt phase, I knew him when he wore, I think it was a 20-foot-long braid up on his head,” Mr. Handler said. “I admire the all-brown.”

01-16-2008, 12:15 PM
Ticketmaster Claims Huge Stake of Secondary-Ticket Market


Perhaps concerned about Live Nation’s plan to begin their own independent ticketing system beginning in January 2009, Ticketmaster announced yesterday that it has agreed to buy TicketsNow (the second-largest site in the secondary-ticket market behind eBay-owned StubHub). The Wall Street Journal places the value of the sale at $265 million. It’s a move that firmly entrenches Ticketmaster in a secondary-ticket market in which tickets to concerts and sporting events are often sold for double and triple their face value.

After years of not getting a slice of resale profits — and issuing strongly worded warnings that ticket buyers should not resell their tickets — Ticketmaster now will take the fifteen percent commission that TicketsNow charges its sellers and split it between themselves and clients who “own venues or promote events.” By entering this market, Ticketmaster will still be able to make some money off of Live Nation tickets that are resold on TicketsNow.

But will Ticketmaster now be consorting with scalpers? TicketsNow has been accused of being something of a safe harbor for ticket buyers who use “bots” to purchase tickets en masse before the general public can even click a mouse (the sort of bulk buying that caused a stir among parents in the great Hannah Montana Debacle of 2007). Ticketmaster President and Chief Executive Sean Moriarty promises that his company will attempt to “root out” those buyers who use technology unfairly. Consumers will likely be skeptical, however, as Ticketmaster has long been condemned as a fan-unfriendly service.

01-16-2008, 02:44 PM
HEY YABLO this should be a fun discussion.

Study Says Patients, Doctors Get
Distorted View of Antidepressants
Researchers Say Unpublished Reports Have Found
Many Drugs Have Little or No Effect on Patients
January 16, 2008 5:23 p.m.

Numerous unpublished studies submitted to the Food and Drug Administration by pharmaceutical companies have found that many popular antidepressants have little or no effect on patients, according to a new review of the previously hidden findings.

As a result, researchers asserted in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, doctors and patients are getting a distorted view of the effectiveness of blockbuster anti-depressants like Wyeth's Effexor and Zoloft, made by Pfizer Inc.

Since the overwhelming amount of published data on the drugs show they are effective, doctors unaware of the unpublished data are making inappropriate prescribing decisions that are not in the best interest of their patients, according to researchers led by Erick Turner, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University. Sales of antidepressants total about $21 billion a year, according to IMS Health.

Pharmaceutical companies are under no obligation to publish the studies they sponsor and submit to the FDA, nor are the researchers they hire to do the work. The researchers publishing in the New England journal were able to identify unpublished studies by obtaining and comparing documents filed by the companies with the FDA against databases of medical publications.

Pfizer and Wyeth declined to comment on the study results. Both companies said they had committed to disclose all study results, although not necessarily in medical journals.

An FDA spokesperson said, "There is no effort on the part of the FDA to withhold or to not post drug review documents." For newer drugs, information is posted online "as soon as possible," the spokesperson said. The agency said older documents are not always available online and efforts to add those files to the Web are slowed by "a lack of resources." As for the delay in fulfilling Dr. Turner's records requests, the agency said it doesn't comment on individual requests. It did acknowledge there is a backlog in complying with records requests.

A total of 74 studies involving a dozen anti-depressants and 12,564 patients were registered with the FDA from 1987 through 2004. The FDA deemed 38 of the studies to be positive. All but one of those studies was published, the researchers said.

The other 36 were found to have negative or questionable results by the FDA. Most of those studies -- 22 out of 36 -- were not published. Of the 14 that were published, the researchers said at least 11 of those studies mischaracterized the results and presented a negative study as positive.

One way of turning the study results upside down is to ignore a negative finding for the primary outcome being measured and highlight a positive secondary outcome. In nine of the negative studies that were published, the authors simply omitted any mention of the primary outcome.

The resulting publication bias threatens to skew the medical professional's understanding of how effective a drug is for a particular condition, the researchers say. The growing movement of evidence-based medicine depends on analysis of published studies to make treatment decisions.

Dr. Turner, who once worked at the FDA reviewing data on psychotropic drugs, said the idea for the study was triggered in part by colleagues who questioned the need for further clinical drug trials looking at the effectiveness of antidepressants.

"There is a view that these drugs are effective all the time," he said. "I would say they only work 40% to 50% of the time, and they would say, 'What are you talking about? I have never seen a negative study.'" Dr. Turner, from his time reviewing studies at the FDA, said he knew there were negative studies that hadn't been published.

In 2004, the New York state attorney general sued GlaxoSmithKline PLC for alleged fraud, saying it suppressed studies showing that the antidepressant Paxil was no better than placebo in treating depression in children. Glaxo denied the charge and eventually settled with the attorney general. The company later posted on its Web site the full reports of all of the studies of Paxil in children.

In this week's study, the researchers found that failing to publish negative findings inflated the reported effectiveness of all of the anti-depressant drugs. The researchers used a measurement called effect size. The larger the effect size, the greater the impact of a treatment.

The effect size of the antidepressant Zoloft was increased 64% by the failure to publish negative or questionable data on the drug, the researchers found. Looking at it another way, the researchers found the drug was closer to having a "small" effect for people taking it when all of the data is considered. When primarily positive results are all that is published, the drug was shown to have an increased effect closer to "medium."

Write to David Armstrong at david.armstrong@wsj.com

01-17-2008, 04:41 AM
Hmmm. I wonder how much harm that really does, though. I mean, if someone takes an ineffective drug but doesn't know it - and it has a placebo effect of improvement - then that's still worth it, right? Also, if it doesn't work at all and the patient realizes that, don't they typically stop taking it or ask for a new prescription after a couple of months?

In the interest of full disclosure, this is obviously messed up. But in the scope of things about which we're lied to, this seems minor, I guess.

Stupid drug companies. My cousin works for Pfizer. I should send her this and say WHAT AREN'T YOU TELLING US LOLOLRFLMAO?!?!

01-17-2008, 04:55 AM
Speaking on behalf of the crazy people, there's a couple problems with all this.

1. It's impossible to know how many of the supposedly depressed people in the studies were actually suffering from the imbalance these drugs are designed to treat. Low success rates don't really surprise me at all--there's no tests for this shit. Speaking from personal experience, maybe one out of five of the mood-stabilizing/depression medications I've taken have been effective in a way I was happy about. It's just an inherent difficulty in the fuzzy science of psychiatry.

2. Yes, pharmaceutical companies ARE evil. Yes, they will lie their asses off about their products and suppress negative info. But I think that's a consistent with all corporations and all pharmaceutical corporations just the same.

01-17-2008, 05:38 AM
FDA declares cloned meat, milk safe

By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 16, 2008

Meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as the natural versions, the Food and Drug Administration declared Tuesday, clearing the way for such products to enter the food supply without special labeling.

In releasing its 968-page final risk assessment on the safety of cloning technology, the FDA asked producers to continue keeping cloned cattle, pigs and goats out of the food supply during a transition period of unspecified length.

But the federal agency said that products from the offspring of clones could be sold to the public immediately.

"Meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine and goats and their offspring are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals," said Randall Lutter, the FDA's deputy commissioner for policy.

Government scientists said they did not have enough information on cloned sheep or other species to rule that they were safe to eat.

Initially, only a small amount of steaks, pork and dairy products derived from clones will become available in grocery stores, industry executives said. But over the next three to five years -- after ranchers have time to clone their most prized animals and those clones are able to breed -- the products will become routine on store shelves, they said.

The decision, at least seven years in the making, was based on hundreds of studies conducted around the world that found that meat and milk from clones is biologically indistinguishable from meat and milk sold to the public today.

Critics remain unconvinced. "Just because something was created in a lab doesn't mean we should have to eat it," said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), who had pressed the FDA to conduct further studies on the safety of clones and will now push for mandatory labeling. "If we discover a problem with cloned food after it is in our food supply and it's not labeled, the FDA won't be able to recall it."

The FDA said it would continue to monitor the safety of cloned food and would adjust its policy if necessary.

Consumer advocates also expressed outrage. "FDA's action has placed the interests of a handful of biotech firms above those of the public they are charged with protecting," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Food Safety in Washington.

The risk assessment said that "cloning raises many ethical and economic concerns" that are important to the public but that the FDA's task was to focus on the science.

Even with the FDA's endorsement, producers face an uphill battle persuading consumers to accept the new technology.

A survey last year by the International Food Information Council, which is supported by the food, beverage and agricultural industries, found that 22% of U.S. consumers had a favorable view of animal cloning, compared with 50% who were opposed. If deemed safe by the FDA, support for using cloned animals as food rose to 46% -- a substantial increase, but still a minority of consumers.

Cloning advocates acknowledge that the technology has a "yuck factor" that has been difficult to shake.

"The entertainment industry has used the word 'clone' in a negative context," said Jerry Baker, chief executive of the Federation of Animal Science Societies in Savoy, Ill. "That's a hard one for us to overcome, but we have to continue to try."

Scientists frequently point out that clones are not genetic mutants but identical twins of naturally produced animals -- just born at a different time.

To make a clone, scientists remove the DNA from the nucleus of a normal egg and replace it with DNA from a prized animal. A tiny electric shock induces the egg to grow into a copy of the original animal. No new genes are introduced or modified in the process.

"We're not out to create some kind of abnormal individual," Baker said.

Producers, like Limousin cattle rancher Larry Coleman of Charlo, Mont., said they simply wanted to extend the breeding capabilities of their most superior animals.

Coleman spent $60,000 for three clones of his late prize bull, First Down, whose semen used to sell for as much as $700 a vial. By offering semen from the clones, Coleman hopes to multiply his sales while offering breeders the same high-quality product at a cheaper price.

Because he abided by the FDA's voluntary moratorium against introducing meat and milk from clones and their offspring into the food supply, Coleman waited years to recoup his investment. Now he intends to sell semen from one of the clones, Second Down, during the spring breeding season for as little as $20 a vial.

"It's sure going to make a lot of difference that we got a green light," said Coleman, who has eaten plenty of beef sired by Second Down.

The livestock industry has a long record of using a variety of reproduction technologies to improve the quality of its herds.

Breeders began using artificial insemination in the 1960s. Then they moved on to more sophisticated techniques like in vitro fertilization and embryo splitting, which turns a single genetically desirable animal into twins.

The first cattle clones were born in 1998, followed by pigs in 2000.

"Most consumers don't go to the grocery store wondering if artificial insemination was used to produce their pork chop, or whether their milk came from a dairy cow that was produced through embryo transfer," said Mark Walton, president of Austin, Texas-based ViaGen Inc., which provided more than 400 cloned animals to government scientists.

The FDA began studying the safety of cloned food in 2001. It commissioned a report from the National Academy of Sciences, which found that the risk presented by cloned animals and their offspring was small.

A 2006 study by scientists from the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine scrutinized the vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, fat, water and carbohydrate content and found no "nutritionally or toxicologically important differences." Clones are more likely to die in utero or shortly after birth and to have birth defects. They also pose a risk to their surrogates because they tend to be larger than their naturally conceived counterparts.

But the clones that survive into adolescence are just as healthy as other animals, according to the 2006 study. Screening methods already in place would prevent clones that are sick or abnormal from entering the food supply, so no additional safeguards should be required, the scientists said.

Few clones are likely to become burgers or bacon because they cost far more to produce than they would be worth at a slaughterhouse. ViaGen, for example, currently charges $17,500 to clone a single cow and $4,000 for a pig. It is primarily their offspring that will wind up on dinner tables.

"Most consumers will never eat a cloned animal," said Gregory Jaffe, director of the Biotechnology Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington.

Only a fraction of the 97 million cattle in the U.S. are even candidates for cloning.

"I would love to project that this is just going to blow the doors off our business," Walton said. He predicted that over the next five years, only a few hundred -- and certainly no more than 1,000 -- clones would be born in a single year.

At the request of the food industry, cloning firms have pledged to carry out a voluntary tracking program to ensure the animals they produce don't wind up on plates where they aren't wanted.

ViaGen and Trans Ova Genetics of Sioux Center, Iowa, devised a system to track every cloned animal with a unique electronic identification tag affixed to the animal's ear, Walton said. The companies will enter each cloned cow and pig into a registry and charge their clients a deposit -- equivalent to about twice the animal's market value -- which will be returned after they demonstrate that their animals were sold to companies that accept cloned animals.

The system does not include tracking for the offspring of clones. "The progeny of clones aren't clones, so there's really nothing to track anyway," Walton said.

Cloning opponents have also raised concerns about the ability of U.S. producers to export meat and milk to foreign markets without mandatory labeling so that consumers can avoid cloned products.

Europeans in particular have resisted attempts by American companies to sell them genetically modified foods. But last week, the European Food Safety Authority gave a preliminary endorsement to the technology.


01-17-2008, 06:00 AM
Cloned meat. Woo hoo!

01-17-2008, 08:11 AM
Interesting article on Facebook (i won't paste it, as it's rather long)


01-17-2008, 08:31 AM

Citroen regrets Mao ad 'insult'
French carmaker Citroen has withdrawn an ad featuring a doctored portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong, after complaints it was an insult.

In the ad, carried in Spanish newspaper El Pais, Mao scowls at a hatchback.

"It's true, we are leaders, but at Citroen the revolution never stops," reads the text below the portrait.

Citroen apologised for the "inappropriate" ad, which Chinese chatroom users had complained "hurts our national pride".

"This is no small thing," said one visitor to a chatroom about the ad - based on the famous portrait of Mao which hangs in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

"It has an influence on the whole country. It damages the whole Chinese people."


Another writer pointed out that other national leaders - such as US President George W Bush - had also been made fun of in the media.

"But our traditions and customs must nonetheless be respected," the writer added.

Nearly 32 years after his death, Chairman Mao remains revered by some Chinese, despite his promotion of policies such as "Great Leap Forward" which ended in the deaths of millions, and the profound social and economic changes China has since seen.

In a statement, Citroen said it regretted any "displeasure" caused, and said it had ordered the advert to be pulled immediately.

"We repeat our good feelings towards the Chinese people, and confirm that we respect the representatives and symbols of the country," said the statement in Chinese.

01-17-2008, 01:56 PM
I thought the idea of Lemony Snicket playing with the Magnetic Fields would have gotten more of a reaction. is that just old news or something?

01-17-2008, 01:57 PM
He played on 69 Love Songs. Old news.

01-17-2008, 01:59 PM
thank you for not making fun of me.

01-17-2008, 02:02 PM
I didn't know until fairly recently. I was just trying to sound authoritative.

01-17-2008, 04:18 PM
thank you for not making fun of me.

to my face I mean

01-18-2008, 11:55 AM
This sucks.

Lily Allen has suffered a miscarriage 2 hours, 59 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Lily Allen, who announced her pregnancy last month, has had a miscarriage.

"She and her partner, Ed Simons, will be making no further comment and we ask that their privacy be respected during this difficult time," Allen's spokesman, Jon Bills, said Friday in a statement.

Simons, 37, is a member of The Chemical Brothers.

Allen's cheeky debut album, "Alright, Still," which includes the hit single "Smile," was released in the U.S. last year. The 22-year-old British pop singer's follow-up CD is expected to be released this year.

01-18-2008, 11:57 AM
Miscarriages are common the first time you get prego.

01-18-2008, 12:38 PM
Nail-spiked bats to the face are common when using British retard baby slang like "prego."

01-18-2008, 12:47 PM
I was talking about the spaghetti sauce.

01-20-2008, 10:54 PM
Man wakes up at own funeral. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080120/od_afp/chilefuneraloffbeat)

01-24-2008, 02:23 PM
This is good news and will serve the purpose of checking out bands that will be at Coachella.

Free the Music
Wednesday, 23 January 2008

A few days ago we sent out some cryptic invitations to a press conference in New York that Felix and Martin are presiding over. We’ve had fun in the office reading the rumors and speculation, but it’s time to spill the beans:

As of today, you can play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm website.

Something we’ve wanted for years—for people who visit Last.fm to be able to play any track for free—is now possible. With the support of the folks behind EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner—and the artists they work with—plus thousands of independent artists and labels, we’ve made the biggest legal collection of music available to play online for free, the way we believe it should be.

Full-length tracks are now available in the US, UK, and Germany, and we’re hard at work broadening our coverage into other countries. During this initial public beta period, each track can be played up to 3 times for free before a notice appears telling you about our upcoming subscription service. The soon-to-be announced subscription service will give you unlimited plays and some other useful things. We’re also working on bringing full-length tracks to the desktop client and beyond.

Free full-length tracks are obviously great news for listeners, but also great for artists and labels, who get paid every time someone streams a song. Music on Last.fm is perpetually monetized. This is good because artists get paid based on how popular a song is with their fans, instead of a fixed amount.

We will be paying artists directly.

We already have licenses with the various royalty collection societies, but now unsigned artists can put their music on Last.fm and be paid directly for every song played. This helps to level the playing-field—now you can make music, upload it to Last.fm and earn money for each play. If you make music, you can sign up to participate for free.

We’re not printing money to pay for this—but the business model is simple enough: we are paying artists and labels a share of advertising revenue from the website.

Today we’re redesigning the music economy. There are already millions of tracks available, and we’re adding more every day. We will continue to work hard to bring this to everyone in the world.

Take it for a spin.


full on idle
01-24-2008, 03:21 PM
That's cool but I always get "this track is not yet available on last.fm." Hopefully that will change.

01-24-2008, 03:31 PM
maybe if you weren't so indie that wouldn't happen.

01-24-2008, 03:45 PM
Yeah, Valarie, be more mainstream, like the rest of the world.

full on idle
01-24-2008, 04:40 PM
maybe if you weren't so indie that wouldn't happen.

hey joker I'm talking about when I click on a song on someone ELSE's last.fm to hear it because I haven't heard it before. They're the indie ones. I'm just cruisin.

01-25-2008, 12:52 PM
I moved away too soon..

cannabis vending machines in Cali (http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3752777n)

01-25-2008, 01:19 PM

Btw how the hell does the penthouse of the monte carlo go up in flames like that? dont they have fire sprinklers systems in place?

01-26-2008, 05:55 PM
a neat look at what kind of web presence mega-corps had in 1996. Those were the days!

My first web browsing experience was using netscape 2.0, on a Mac IIcx with a 12in 4-bit greyscale monitor, 8mb of ram, and a 40mb HD using a 14.4 modem....



Old Websites Sure Are Funny

Digging through websites cached from the 90s is akin to seeing a celebrity's high school yearbook pictures—during the early, awkward years of the web, brave companies made a stab at winning consumer hearts through 15" CRTs and 14.4k dial up modems. Inspired by this MSU page, we decided to take a gander through the Internet Archive's Wayback machine (a service that started saving pages in 1996). Needless to say, we found some funny stuff.